UN cultural agency: Don't loot Libya's heritage

Thursday 25 Aug 2011

UNESCO director calls for Libyans to protect their cultural sites from looting, with Libya's World Heritage sites including Roman ruins

The UN cultural agency is warning Libyans to guard against looting of cultural heritage amid the country's current turmoil.

The director of UNESCO is also cautioning the international art and antiquities trade to be "particularly wary of objects from Libya in the present circumstances" because they might be stolen.

Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement Thursday that she contacted authorities in Libya and neighboring countries to urge them "to protect Libya's invaluable cultural heritage." She warned that past conflicts have led to looting and damage to artifacts and archeological treasures.

Ruins of Roman cities are among the five sites in Libya classified by the Paris-based UN Educational, Science and Cultural Organization as World Heritage sites.

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