Libya: culture minister wants to protect archaeological sites

Against illegal excavations. Training of specialized personnel

11 November, 16:28

    The archeological site of Lepts Magna (archive) The archeological site of Lepts Magna (archive)

    (ANSAmed) - TRIPOLI - Libyan Culture Minister Al Habini Al Amin called for the protection of archaeological sites in the country in a press conference in Tripoli in Monday.

    In the past few months, illegal excavations in Cyrene and the theft of prized artwork in other sites has raised concern.

    In 2011 the treasure of Benghazi disappeared with over 700 pieces unearthed following decades of excavation work in Cyrenaica from the Greek-Roman, Byzantine and Islamic eras which were stolen and are now being sold illegally.

    Al Amin said hundreds of personnel will be trained to safeguard the country's archaeological heritage. Meanwhile the ministry has started a programme with Unesco to train tourism, customs and border police, an initiative which kicked off in Sabratha in September.

    The minister also stressed the need to support artists and cultural activities long neglected under the Gaddafi regime.

    Libya, explained Al Amin, suffered enough wars and terror, now it is necessary to focus on the country's development. The ministry has already announced it will start 18 cultural projects including four new theatres, 11 new cultural centres and three libraries in several regions in the country. (ANSAmed)

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