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UNESCO Signs Agreement with Libya on Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites
06/08/2012 10:13:00
Ghadamès, known as 'the pearl of the desert', one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement.

A few days ago Libya signed a cooperation agreement with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at its headquarters in Paris on the establishment of a programme aimed at protecting the cultural heritage in Libya.

Abdelsalem Al-Kalala, the Libyan representative to UNESCO signed on behalf of Libya, with Akio Arata, Director of Cooperation at UNESCO. The agreement aims at developing the technical and institutional capacities for the Libyan Department of Antiquities to promote cultural heritage and its protection in Libya.

The implementation of the programme follows the granting by Italy of €1 million to UNESCO, in order to implement part of the project to finance the programme that targets three sites of the cultural heritage identified by the Department of Antiquities and UNESC, namely, the museums of the city of Tripoli, Bani Walid and Misurata.

The programme involves archeological sites that can be integrated in the development strategies and contributes to give economic activities to populations and communities near the sites.

It also involves the setting up of workshops to preserve cultural products, as well as the opening of Libya’s new Museum in Tripoli.

Libya has five official UNESCO cultural heritage sites that reflect the country’s strategic geographic positioning through the intermingling of cultures and regional influence. They are, Cyrene, the town of Ghadames, Leptis Magna, Sabratha, and the rock-art sites of Tadrart Acacus.

In October last year, UNESCO also invited experts from both inside and outside of Libya to urgently examine the preservation of cultural heritage in the country, notably measures to safeguard cultural sites; prevent illicit trafficking, protect museums and strengthen cultural institutions in the wake of civil strife and the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime.

The the first meeting on protecting Libyan cultural heritage after the fall of the regime then took take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on October 21 in Paris, France.

Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna : Leptis Magna was enlarged and embellished by Septimius Severus, who was born there and later became emperor. It was one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman Empire, with its imposing public monuments, harbour, market-place, storehouses, shops and residential districts.

stands in an oasis. It is
one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement. Its domestic architecture is characterized by a vertical division of functions: the ground floor used to store supplies; then another floor for the family, overhanging covered alleys that create what is almost an underground network of passageways; and, at the top, open-air terraces reserved for the women.

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