Libyan Capital Museum Reopens

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Archaeologists with Tripoli’s Assaraya Al Hamra museum say they are now finally able to show off the country’s treasures. 

Gallery view of the Assaraya Alhamra Museum, Libya [Credit: Temehu]

Despite the unrest that has swept cities across the north African country, museum workers say they managed to save hundreds of artifacts, which include statues and coins that date back to Roman times, from looters. 

Ramadan Sheban, director of the Tripoli Archaeology Department said, “We have managed to create a comprehensive plan to protect Assaraya Alhamra Museum and the Museum of Libya in Tripoli in order to hide all pieces that I mentioned. We have managed to hide about 350 pieces of sculptures and pottery from Assaraya Alhamra. In addition to that, we managed to protect more than 2,000 pieces of silver, bronze and old coins which are dated to different historical eras,” 

Anti-Qaddafi forces captured Tripoli on August 23 after six months of civil war, ending Muammar Qaddafi’s 41-year reign. 

But archaeologists are concerned about museums in other cities, and fear that the country’s rich heritage could be destroyed. 

He added,”Currently, we are extremely worried about the museum in Bani Walid. We heard in the news, and some of our friends told us as well, that Qaddafi troops, troops of destruction and horror, are still there and they are using the museum. 

The Assaraya Alhamra museum is located in the city’s historic Red Castle, believed to have been built around 5,000 years ago. Libya has five World Heritage sites recognized by the U.N cultural agency, UNESCO. 

Author: Ikram Al Yacoub | Source: Al Arabiya News [October 11, 2011]

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