Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Libya criticizes decision of UNESCO World Heritage Committee to place five archaeological sites in Libya on the endangered world heritage list

The General Tourism Authority (GTA) has criticized the decision of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to place five archaeological sites in Libya on the endangered world heritage list.
The five sites included Leptis Magna in the city of Al-Khums, the ancient city of Sabratah, the city of Cyrene in Shahat, the rock art site of the Akakus Mountain in the far south of Libya and the ancient city of Ghadames. The GTA said in a statement that these sites were registered on the danger list without any regulatory, legal or logical actions, in the absence of Libyan government representation, both in the 39th session that took place in the German capital Bonn in 2015, or in the 40th session held in 2016 in Istanbul. The statement called on state authorities, Libya's representative to the United Nations, civil society institutions and the municipalities that locate these cultural sites to shoulder their responsibilities and take necessary measures to protect and preserve cultural heritage found in the Libyan territory. The GTA also urged all World Heritage organizations concerned led by UNESCO to play their part and encourage affirmative actions that will ensure the protection of these sites in accordance with the provisions of the World Heritage Convention.
It seems that the archeologists of UNESCO are overreaching in their attempts to show that Libya's heritage is '├źndangered" by looters and this has been going on a long time (Libya's Antiquities Department refutes UNESCO report on Leptis Magna August 07, 2016) -
the city is totally secured and UNESCO’s decision was baseless. Archaeologist Ezzedin Fagi, told The Libya Observer on Saturday that upon touring Leptis Magna, one can see that there are none of the vandalism or sabotage acts the UNESCO talked about when it decided to put the archaeological site on the “in danger list” in Istanbul conference,, saying the Control Committee is carrying out anastylosis works in the site so that it maintains the glamour of the city. “What we’re doing to preserve Leptis Magna should place it on the list for top world heritage sites not on the World Heritage in Danger List.” Fagi added, pointing out that the UNESCO placed five Libyan archaeological sites on the “in danger” list even though there was not a single Libyan representative in the Istanbul Conference. He also confirmed that the ancient city of Sabratha and old town of Ghadames, both were also placed by UNESCO in the danger list, are in good condition.
It seems clear that the deceptions of UNESCO are to pave the way for yet another anti-collecting campaign.

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