Libya’s priceless historical heritage is in danger of being destroyed in the same way Iraq’s cultural riches perished during the United States invasion, warned a Russian expert on West Asia.
Nikolai Sologubovsky, orientalist, writer and film maker, said massive looting and destruction of ancient artefacts was underway in Libya.
“The al-Jamahiriya National Museum in Tripoli has been looted and antiquities are being shipped out by sea to Europe,” the scholar told Russian television.
The National Museum houses some of Libya’s most treasured archaeological and historical heritage. The collection includes invaluable samples of Neolithic, pre-historic, Berber, Garamantian, Phoenician, Punic, Greek, Roman and Byzantine culture.
Mr. Sologubovsky, who spent several months in Libya this year as a correspondent for a Moscow tabloid, said cave paintings in Acacus Mountains that go back 14,000 years were being destroyed by looters.
“They press silk cloth soaked in special chemical solution against rock frescoes and the paint sticks to the cloth and comes off the cave wall,” he said.
The scholar accused NATO forces of destroying some of the most spectacular architectural sites included in UNESCO’s World Historical List.