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In October 2011 UNESCO convened in Paris an international meeting of experts on Libya heritage.The group expressed their concern about the fragility of Libyan cultural heritage and risks to it in the aftermath of the conflict and during the transition to a new government.Their recommendations focused on: securing heritage sites and collections, strengthening the legal and institutional framework for heritage, and increasing the awareness of and support for heritage by the national and local publics within Libya.
By: Susan Kane and Sam Carrier, Oberlin College The June 2013 destruction of an ancient necropolis near the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cyrene has drawn international attention to the precarious state of archaeology in Libya.Following resumption of relations between the United States and Libya in 2004 Susan Kane (Oberlin College) restarted work in Libya. On our return in 2004, we found the Libyan Department of Antiquities had suffered greatly.Under the Gaddafi regime, archaeology was of scant importance.As one of our friends said: “we’ve had forty-two years behind our necks.” The nascent government of the new Libya is responding to issues slowly. Human resources, particularly in the areas of planning and management, need to be fostered and developed.Today Libyan archaeology is inaccessible to tourists (Libya does not currently issue tourist visas). Susan Kane is Professor of Classical Archaeology at Oberlin College.
It is now housed within the newly created Ministry of Culture and Civil Society, headed by Habib Al-Amin, who is an archaeologist.