Wednesday 24 August 2011

Libya’s Gaddafi is Finished: What Happens to His Green Projects?

Libya’s Gaddafi is Finished: What Happens to His Green Projects? asks Maurice Picow Green Prophet, August 23rd, 2011

With Tripoli now largely in the hands of rebel forces, whose ethnic backgrounds represent no less then 138 indigenous tribes scattered over the country’s vast territory, and Gaddafi’s own whereabouts still unknown, it is still far to early for both archaeologists and environmentalists to try to figure out what will be the destiny of the unique ancient sites in this country. These include the rock paintings in the country’s southern mountains.

[...] in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s downfall, as when Saddam Hussein was defeated in Iraq, a lot of confusion and acts of looting will undoubtedly take place. [...] And unfortunately, as occurred in Baghdad, historical sites, especially museums, will be targeted by people not only wanting to take revenge for more than 40 years of persecution, but also to profit by selling the artifacts to antiquities dealers abroad. With so many tribes who have not been so friendly to one another, the country itself could wind up being split into several autonomous areas, like what happened to Yugoslavia several years back. The interim rebel government has it’s hands full to hold things together and try to unite a people who only were previously “united” due to Muamar Gaddafi’s heavy hand.

Most of the population lives and works in a narrow band along the coast, there are oilfields in the northeast, but the rest of the country is savannah and scrub and then desert... Not exactly prime land for state-(re)building.

So, these "antiquities dealers abroad" to which these objects will be being offered, we will see to what extent they are more concerned about helping protect the heritage of the region (more ARCA rewards due when one of them does the right thing?) or are they more concerned about a new supply of "freshly surfaced" antiquities to profit from? Like for example, lots of Roman coins coming out of Libya have that coveted "desert patina". will we be seeing more coins of the Greek colonies of North Africa appearing more frequently on V-coins in coming months?

See now, Larry Rothfield's "Did NATO Plans to Help Libyans Topple Ghaddafi Include Inducements to Protect Libyan Archaeological Sites?"

Map: Libya, lots of dugups here to be had... Greek colonies

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