Friday, August 26, 2011

Unesco warning over Libya looting

The UN's cultural body has warned international art dealers and museums to look out for artefacts that may have been looted from Libya during fighting.

Unesco director-general Irina Bokova said in a statement that dealers should be "particularly wary of objects from Libya in the present circumstances".

And she called on Libyans to protect their "invaluable cultural heritage".

Libya has five World Heritage sites including Cyrene - one of the principal cities in the Hellenic world.

"Experience shows that there is a serious danger of destruction during times of social upheaval," Ms Bokova said in the Unesco statement.

"It has taught us to look out for looting by unscrupulous individuals, that often damages the integrity of artefacts and of archaeological sites."

She added that "careless dealers who buy these objects and fragments are in fact inciting more looting". more