A forgotten historical gem in Libya is the best kept Roman ruin outside of Italy.
How the ancient city of Cyrene near Libya, a world heritage site in danger, faces threats of bulldozers and loot; Firstpost
Cyrene lies between the Egyptian border and Benghazi, one of the key cities that rose up against longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. The country has since fallen into anarchy and violence which sparked fears for its rich ancient heritage.
Graffiti covers the walls of a Greek amphitheatre in Cyrene, an ancient ruined city in eastern Libya now struggling with neglect, vandals and illegal confiscation of land by locals.
Perched on the edge of Libya’s Mediterranean coast, the ancient city of Sabratha remains an awe-inspiring spectacle, the pink columns of its amphitheatre towering above turquoise waters. Shell casings and bullets still litter the surrounding earth, a year after clashes between rival armed groups…
Libya, like Syria, is home to a prized array of temples, tombs, mosques and churches.
ALEXANDRIA – In parallel to the destructive conflicts plaguing countries of the Middle East, another war is being waged on the collective memory of the people in the region and their historic identity.
From Iraq to Syria, Yemen and Libya, the region’s cultural and archaeological heritage is being wiped out amid the appalling idleness of the international community and UNESCO, archaeology experts complained.
Grievances about the disappearing heritage of the region, considered the cradle of ancient civilisations, were voiced at a forum on the role of media in the protection of cultural heritage organised by local NGOs and the Swedish Cultural Institute in Alexandria, Egypt.
Military bases set up in the perimeter of archaeological sites, bombardment of museums and historical monuments, illegal excavations, plundering, looting and illicit trafficking of artefacts is what Syria’s heritage has been exposed to for seven years, said Syrian archaeologist Cheikhmous Ali, founder of the Strasbourg-based Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology (APSA).
Read more from source: World heritage in Syria and Libya agonising under the world’s idle eyes | Samar Kadi | AW
They are world-renowned and a Unesco heritage site. The catch? They are in Libya.
The limestone and marble ruins of Leptis Magna on Libya’s coast could be a hive of activity and a top tourist destination, but conflict has left one of ancient Rome’s great Mediterranean cities almost entirely cut off from the outside world.
Guards are unpaid and most visitors are local, with only the occasional handful of foreigners, including one or two intrepid tourists, making it to the site.
On weekdays, it is almost deserted, with only the odd group of local teenagers dotted among the expansive ruins.
“There’s something that remains of the tourist police, but they can’t protect it,” says 60-year-old Ali Hrebish, one of several dozen volunteer guards who “for God and country” help watch over the site. “We live here, we protect it.”
UNESCO’s Director General calls on all parties to cease violence and to protect the World Heritage Site of Sabratha in Libya; UNESCO World Heritage Centre
On 21 September, UNESCO was informed by several sources that military action is intensifying within and around the Archaeological Site of Sabratha in Libya, inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1982. According to reports, military action is growing within and around the property.
In view of this situation, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, calls on all parties to cease violence and ensure the protection of Sabratha’s invaluable cultural heritage, including its archaeological museum. The Director-General underscored the need to protect cultural heritage in times of conflict, as recently urged by the UN Security Council in its Resolution 2347, notably.
“I call on all parties to ensure the safeguarding of Sabratha’s unique cultural heritage,” said Mrs. Bokova.
As we all sit in our own sweat, wondering when this hell will end, spare a thought for the places that have really got it bad. Here are the 10 hottest places on earth.
1. Death Valley, California, USA
This currently holds the record for hottest air temperature ever recorded. The desert valley reached highs of 56.7 degrees in the summer of 1913, which would apparently push the limits of human survival. Average temperatures today reach 47 degrees during summer, and it’s the driest place in the States.
2. Aziziyah, Libya
The former capital of the Jafara district, 25 miles south of Tripoli, used to claim the title of hottest place on earth – in 1922 the temperature was recorded as a sweltering 58 degrees.
Leptis Magna (AFP) — Ali Hribish stands by the Arch of Septimius Severus which dominates Libya’s ancient city of Leptis Magna, brandishing letters of thanks for his efforts to protect the site.
The former electricity company employee in his 50s has become the Roman city’s unlikely saviour, protecting it from looting and vandalism as chaos rocks the country following the 2011 downfall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Despite having no background in archaeology, Hribish gathered a band of fighters who dedicated themselves to preserving the ancient Roman city, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
While others set up armed groups to protect banks and public buildings, “we immediately thought of Leptis Magna,” says Ashraf Mohammed, 33, one of the first fighters to join Hribish’s group.
“A bank can be rebuilt, but our monuments and our history are things we can’t replace,” he says.
UNESCO has placed five World Heritage Sites in Libya on its list of locations in danger, citing “damage caused by the conflict affecting the country and the threat of further damage it poses.”
UNESCO on Thursday placed locations sites in Libya on its list of world heritage sites in danger, blaming armed groups for inflicting damage.
Barriers are daunting, armed militias, weak government, jihadi terrorism, but minister at tourism expo believes in the long game10 holidays that come with travel warnings…
Local residents recently destroyed part of the Cyrene necropolis, an ancient Greek city in north-eastern Libya, to make way for houses and shops. France24 Observer, an archaeology professor, laments the authorities’ unwillingness to act to prevent the destruction of this invaluable archaeological heritage.
This ancient Roman city used to attract more than 20 000 foreign visitors annually before the 2011 war. Now it’s deserted.