Last week NATO TV posted on its website these two video to report on Libya and the state of its cultural heritage after the air raids of the Alliance. It is very difficult to tell if no damage occurred because NATO adopted the No-Strike list compiled by the Blue Shield or by pure chance. However, the NATO campaign, with its 9,300 airstrikes over Libya (from March to October 2011), managed to spare numerous sites even those that were militarily relevant. An example of precise targeting is given by Hafed Walda, research fellow at Kings College in London, and member of the Blue Shield assessment mission, who recently spoke about Rasaimergib Fort. Here NATO had to take out a number of radars placed on the hilltop and managed to destroy the target without affecting the ancient Roman arch in its proximity.
It is certainly a good news that the Libyan archaeological patrimony has not been affected by these raids. However, a lot still needs to be done within NATO in order to rise awareness on cultural heritage issue. In particular it is necessary to be able to assess wether the no-strike list used by the military are really taking cultural heritage into consideration or not.