Aug 19, 2011

Rape of Libya: NATO Bombs UNESCO World Heritage Site and rebels smuggling the Libyan national treasure

NATO aircraft have bombed the unique anicient city of Leptis Magna in Libya on August 17. 2011.

Leptis Magna (Arabic: لَبْدَة‎ ) also known as Lectis Magna (or Lepcis Magna as it is sometimes spelled), also called Lpqy, Neapolis, Lebida or Lebda to modern-day residents of Libya, was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located in Al Khums, Libya, 130 km east of Tripoli, on the coast where the Wadi Lebda meets the sea. The site is one of the most spectacular and unspoiled Roman ruins in the Mediterranean.[ wikipedia]
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 
Olga Sokolova - It is Russian journalist Nikolay Sologubovskiy went to Libya from the first days on his own to tell the truth about this war. He tells the truth and made actions in Moscow he said opposit opinion from opinnion of Russians massmedia He worries about the Libyan cultural tresures THis exibition attracted the attention from all the world people called from Germany they want to invite this exibition to German ! It is a wonderful chance to tell the truth to the world !
    'Cultural property represents in tangible form some of the evidence of man's origins and development, his traditions, artistic and scientific achievements and generally the milieu of which he is a part. The fact that this material has the ability to communicate, either directly or by association, an aspect of reality which transcends time or space gives it special significance and is therefore something to be sought after and protected'
'For the purposes of this Convention, Cultural Property means property which on religious or secular grounds, is specifically designated by each state as being of importance for archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art or science' (Both quotes from 1970 Paris Convention)
  • Moveable Property - 'mobiliers'
  • Artifacts (Sculpture, archaeological remains)
  • Skeletal remains and grave goods (such as the Ghost Shirt - originally in Kelvin Grove Museum in Glasgow - taken from the body of a dead Sioux warrior after the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1891 and returned March 1999)
  • Intellectual property (Indigenous societies genetic material and sequencing, similar to patents, Indian lawyers have been protesting against foreign drug companies trying to patent the healing properties of the spice Turmeric, one of many)
  • Immovable Property - 'immobilier'
  • Parts of still standing monuments (temple facades, etc) - Parthenon Marbles, Benin Bronzes
  • etc.

July 15, 2011
The Libyan government aksed for help to the government of Egypt to stop smuggling of archaeological pieces of Shahhat (Cyrene). The rebels are stealing pieces of the ancient cities of the Mediterranean coast of the region of Cyrenaica,  cities between Benghazi and Cyrene and especially Tubruk. The Libyan government has also asked the heads of the rebels to stop these thefts because of Libya's archaeological heritage are treasure of all Libyans.
The cities of Cyrenaica are of Greek origin. During the Roman Cyrene was the largest city and largest Pentapolis and the capital of the region.
The damage that is causing the U.S. invasion, France and England to Libya is becoming of more and larger proportions.
In Iraq someone stoled the world's best museums of history and are now doing the same in the ancient cities of Cyrenaica.
It is urgent to stop the plunder! Is it not enough to kill and destroy?  They are also  and stealing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova,  called on both Libya and the coalition of States implementing a no-fly zone over the country to respect the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols, as appropriate, and keep military operations away from cultural sites.

Libya’s priceless historical heritage is in danger of being destroyed in the same way Iraq’s cultural riches perished during the United States invasion, warned a Russian expert on West Asia. Mr. Sologubovsky said the UNESCO appeal came too late, too little.
Plunder of Libya’s cultural heritage has been going on since February. I’m afraid it faces the same tragic fate as Iraq’s antiquities, which were plundered by the victorious U.S. military,” said the Russian scholar.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya  It is being described as one of the biggest heists in archaeological history. A priceless collection of 7,700 gold, silver and bronze coins from ancient times -- known as the Treasure of Benghazi -- was stolen when a gang drilled through the concrete ceiling of an underground vault in the Libyan city earlier this year.
An expert described it last week as "one of the greatest thefts in archaeological history," with many of the items dating from the time of Alexander the Great.
It is impossible to give a value for the hoard but a single ancient Greek coin from Carthage was sold this month for the record price of $431,000 at auction in Paris.
Metal storage cupboards at the National Commercial Bank of Benghazi had been smashed open and the red wax seals on the wooden trunks housing the collection were broken.

The NTC rebels had concentrated on the ancient treasures, leaving items of lesser value untouched.
As well as the coins, the hoard of antiquities included jewelry, medallions, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, earrings, rings and gold armbands. About 50 small monuments and figurines of bronze, glass and ivory are missing and also a small cache of precious stones.

At 15th July 2011. The Libyan government aksed for help to the government of Egypt to stop smuggling of archaeological pieces of Shahhat (Cyrene). The rebels are stealing pieces of the ancient cities of the Mediterranean coast of the region of Cyrenaica,  cities between Benghazi and Cyrene and especially Tubruk.
BUT ! Today 30. October 2011.  Foxnewes create new story 

Libya's cultural heritage includes five sites inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. They are: 
  • Old Town of Ghadamès - Known as 'the pearl of the desert', Ghadames stands in an oasis. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement.
  • Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus - On the borders of Tassili N'Ajjer in Algeria, also a World Heritage site, this rocky massif has thousands of cave paintings in very different styles, dating from 12,000 B.C. to A.D. 100. They reflect marked changes in the fauna and flora, and also the different ways of life of the populations that succeeded one another in this region of the Sahara.
  • Archaeological Site of Cyrene - Established as a Roman province in 74 BC, Cyrenaica shared in the fortunes of the empire and, as such, never ceased to play a preponderant role in the Mediterranean world: it was given by Mark Anthony to Cleopatra, united with Crete by Augustus, who decreed the date of the battle of Actium (34 BC) as the beginning of a new era, and then separated from Crete by Diocletian in a reform of 305, which united it with Egypt.
  • Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna - Founded in the first millennium B.C, Leptis Magna is a unique artistic realization in the domain of urban planning.
  • Archaeological Site of Sabratha - A Phoenician trading-post that served as an outlet for the products of the African hinterland, Sabratha was part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. 
If we agree that cultural property and cultural treasures are important in the creation and maintenance of national identities, then it seems reasonable to assume that we should be in favour of the return of cultural treasures back to their place of origin, or importance. In the light of what is know about the acquisition of cultural property, we are, therefore, concerned with both the return of  properties that were acquired in the relatively distant past (such as the Benin Bronzes; as well as  properties that are being acquired and traded at the current time. In the first instance we are dealing with ways of deciding which treasures need to be returned and to whom. These treasures have also often been sold / traded legally and they now reside in the hands of legal owners. In the second instance we are concerned with both stopping the looting of sites and museums, the prohibition of the current art market for these recently looted goods, and the return of those goods which have been sold to others. Many of these goods will have been initially acquired and later sold on illegally

Plundering is a practice as ancient as warfare itself. With the development of the world's great civilizations, the proverbial "spoils of war" often included national and cultural treasures, including priceless art and antiquities. The looting of exotic, foreign treasure filled the national coffers and museums of the victorious, while depleting the vanquished of tangible remnants of their history. The evolution of warfare, both technical and philosophical, altered international perceptions on the seizure of cultural goods. However, today's international bans on the looting and trafficking of antiquities, as well as the expectation that cultural sites remain protected during wartime, took three centuries to come to fruition.
A 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convention outlined international policy on the protection of artifacts and cultural sites during both war and peacetime. The convention recommended the repatriation of all antiquities, even those acquired from former colonies. In the 1980s, several UN member nations signed a treaty limiting the destruction of cultural sites during military actions. Archaeologists, art scholars, and antiquities specialists successfully lobbied for a ban on the plunder and traffic of illegally obtained artifacts, or removing any antiquities from their context without express permission of national and local governments. INTERPOL now maintains a special force to investigate art and artifact crimes, including those perpetrated during wartime.
A change in war ethos in the West prompted swift reforms of how military campaigns dealt with cultural resources during war. Cultural sites are generally avoided in battle plans, and many governments maintain both civilian and military intelligence forces trained to protect cultural goods. In the recent conflict in Iraq, however, the national museum, containing a vast wealth of antiquities from ancient Mesopotamia, was looted before guard forces were established. The rampant looting raised questions about the enforcement of international anti-theft laws, the effectiveness of military protection, and the readiness of international intelligence forces to track down the stolen goods. Subsequently, many of the artifacts feared initially stolen or lost were recovered from hidden vaults
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