UNESCO chief appeals to parties in Libya to stop destruction of cultural heritage
In a press release, UNESCO reported that a group of gunmen stormed and vandalized the renowned Karamanli Mosque on 7 October, located in the capital, Tripoli, removing ceramic tiles, marble decorations and severely damaging the floor. Days later, the UN agency noted, the historic Othman Pasha Madrassa was damaged and looted while another attempt to vandalize the Darghout Mosque was thwarted by local volunteers. [...] In recent weeks, the North African nation has been embroiled in some of the worst fighting since the 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Muammar al-Qadhafi. [...] protracted battles between opposing armed groups continue to take their toll on civilians and the country’s cultural heritage. [...] UNESCO urged all national and international partners “to reinforce actions and vigilance in order to protect Libya’s cultural heritage in the current context of rising unrest and insecurity” and reaffirmed its engagement with Libyan authorities to reinforce emergency measures for cultural heritage protection against looting and illicit trafficking. [...] In Libya, the agency will soon implement an emergency and risk preparedness training course to enable the authorities to carry out rapid assessment, documentation and monitoring of heritage.