Antiquities missing from Libya (Blog Dorothy’sKing PHDIVA, October 31st, 2011)
“A great deal is being written about the missing "Benghazi Treasure" so I thought it might be worth doing a quick blog post about it. (…)
Firstly, the Benghazi Treasure does not come from Benghazi - it was stored there after the Italians who'd originally excavated it returned it (…)
I'm not trying to downplay the issue of looting, but from a logistical point of view very few of the other items were photographed, and those that were tend to be relatively minor and so will be hard to identify should they appear on the open market. (…)”
“A GANG used the battle for Benghazi to steal a priceless haul of ancient gold. The thieves escaped with 7,700 gold, silver and bronze coins — each more than 2,000 years old. A single similar coin sold this month for £268,000.
(…)The disappearance of the hoard — known as the Treasure of Benghazi — was called "one of the greatest thefts in archaeological history".
Thousands of antiquities are reported to have been stolen from a Benghazi bank vault in Libya. The objects are small, portable and very valuable. The collection has not been displayed for many years and has not been sufficiently documented. Chances for recovery would therefore be very remote.
Looted Libyan treasure “in Egypt”( Alder, Katia, BBC NEWS, October 31st 2011)
Libya's National Transitional Council says it believes several hundred ancient coins stolen from a bank in Benghazi during the Libyan uprising have turned up in Egypt. (…)
Fadel al-Hasi, Libya's acting minister for antiquities, told the BBC there were suspicions the robbery could have been an inside job. (…)
Interpol confirms Libyan treasure was looted (Bailey, Martin, The Arts Newspaper, October 31st 2011)
(…)“Francesco Bandarin, Unesco’s head of culture, working with Libyan archaeologists, is determined to hunt down the treasure; Interpol has alerted 188 national police forces. Information about the loss is scarce, but there is some new evidence, based on research by Italian archaeologist Serenella Ensoli, the Naples-based director of the Italian Archaeological Mission to Cyrene. (…)
The problem with individual coins is that without good photographs it will be difficult to prove their provenance, and to show that they were once part of the Benghazi Treasure. Unesco director-general Irina Bukova told a meeting in Paris that the loss represented “one of the largest thefts of archaeological material in history.” Unesco now hopes to send a mission to Tripoli and Benghazi to pursue inquiries.”
“A Roman head of a woman, which was sold at Christie’s in London on 14 April, had been stolen in Libya. It was bought at auction by an Italian for £91,250 and has now been recovered in Italy by the carabinieri. (…)
The provenance was given as “private collection, Switzerland, circa 1975; acquired by the present owner in Switzerland in 1988”. At the time of the sale, an archaeologist contacted Christie’s to warn that lot 261 was the head of a statue at the Sabratha Museum, west of Tripoli; it had been detached and stolen in 1990.”
Civil-Military Assessment Mission for Libyan Heritage, By Blue Shield and IMCuRWG, September 28 to 30, 2011
Photo gallery of the report by Karl von Habsburg and Joris Kila: http://www.blueshield.at/