Tripoli – Libya
As a result of what the Libyan heritage is put through in terms of grave and imminent dangers caused by the political unrest and security breaches, and what the armed conflicts have caused; has had a negative impact on this heritage.
The first national conference took place regarding “The Protection of Antiquities and Historical Structures During and After Armed Conflicts” in Tripoli, Libya, between Apr. 25th/26th 2018. Organized by the International Humanitarian Law Center.
Through the research presented from inside of Libya and out of it; and what was brought up in discussions and interventions; the attendees have reached the following recommendations:
- Increasing the amount of research and legitimate studies to study the issues regarding antiquities; which requires legal consultation when dealing with antiquities.
- It is not legally allowed to prospect for antiquities unless with the permission of the authority conferred by the State; and it is not allowed to own it, or act as owner with it.
- Reconsider the Libyan legislations regarding the protection of antiquities as follows:
- Limiting the permissions of the antiquities department in terms of granting ownership of the antiquities artifacts discovered by individual unintentionally, and granting them permission to act with them as they please.
- Making criminal rules responding to the deterrence forces which the international agreements require, and meets the goal of this protection which is to preserve antiquities and historical structures in Libya.
- Placing legal procedural rules that guarantee the recovery of antiquities and cultural properties being acted on by individuals.
- Creating legal laws especially for the protection of museums only, as of their unique nature.
- Creating legislations clarifying a unified mechanism for recording antiquities which meets international standards.
- Giving the municipalities a part in protecting antiquities during and after armed conflicts; by organizing such with relating authorities.
- Addressing international organizations regarding putting a model system for national legislators to abide by in determining the value and importance of cultural properties, and building a clear concept of the harms of the militants that allow assaults on the antiquities and historical structures.
- Encouraging the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral agreement that aim to limit the unlawful trafficking of antiquities and recovery the stolen ones; by forming legal and technical committees.
- Putting legal laws that ensure fair compensation to anyone who finds antique artifacts to encourage them hand it in to the concerned authorities.
- Supporting the Tourism and Antiquities Protection police force with all possible means that ensure they perform their assigned duties, and raising the level of their employees.
- Raising awareness amongst the residents neighboring historical and antique sites and structures regarding cooperating with the concerned authorities for protection and preserving said artifacts.
- Documenting the connection between the concerned authorities (Department of Antiquities –Historical Cities Authority) and between the awareness agencies in society, such as mosques, and media, and the different civil society organizations, as well as social media pages.
- Using modern techniques in recording and documenting antiquities and historical structures, such as modeling the building information, geographical information systems, nano technology, 3D imaging, scanning, laser, and aerial photographing.
- Supplying the latest protection techniques for antiquities and historical structures and providing them with surveillance cameras and alarm systems, to limit the looting, theft and mutilation.
- Addressing the ministry of education to include curricular segments introducing the cultural heritage and encouraging its respect and preservation.
- Making use of other nations’ experiences in the department of antiquities and historical structures, and what it has carried out of programs to protect antiquities and recovery of stolen artifacts.
- Working to include antique and historical sites and structures in the World Heritage List.
- Taking care to restore and maintain antiquities and working to qualify staff and competence in this field and developing departments and scientific centers specializing for it.
- Urge the higher authorities in the nation to provide capabilities and support, and including this all within its strategies and priorities.
- Putting future policies and emergency plans to prepare vaults and warehouses of special technical standards to preserve antiquities in case of any internal or external armed conflict.
- Alerting the specialized Libyan departments such as the department of antiquities and historical cities agencies to perform its international commitments and chiefly putting the specified international logos for the protection of antique sites and structures in their place.
- Restoring the inventory and recording all deposits belonging to the department of antiquities and historical cities agencies lying in banks and other agencies to avoid repeating what happened to Benghazi’s treasure.
- The necessity of holding the officials in the Libyan authorities specialized in cultural heritage accountable for the neglect and dereliction in the protection and preservation of this heritage.
- Forming a team of legal and technical specialists to take inventory of the damage inflicted on the antique and historic sites as a result of armed clashes.
- Forming a Crisis Management team in the department of antiquities and historical cities agencies to work for preparing to manage crisis before, during, and after they occur.
- Unify the Antiquities Department between the east and west, and as such unify the efforts of antiquities protection in Libya.
- Condemn what the Zionist entity does from vandalism, dredging, and exhuming of antiquities in Palestine and altering the Al–Aqsa Mosque from inside out; and urging the international society to take responsibility towards what is happening.