- Posted July 9, 2013 by
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Libyan History Ransacked
An old yet sadly new catch all for the masses is "under construction", or "being remodeled".
It is simply a polite way of telling Libyans that their history is being stolen from them on a large scale.
The museums of Libya have never really screamed for attention, neither to Libyans or the outside world, despite the unimaginable treasures that they held.
There are many reasons for this, chief among them the fact that Libya was literally closed for 42 years. One also must note that Libyans were indoctrinated to believe that the history of Libya started with Gaddafi's 1969 Western backed coup and that Libya had no history but for Gaddafi.
These two factors left most of Libya's museums, which were amazing in content if not in construction, and Libya's vast Prehistoric, Punic, Jewish, Greek, Christian, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Ottoman, and Italian colonial ruins relegated to Libyan Boy Scout troops and weekend family picnickers. What was once the very crossroads of civilization, where East and West met Arica and Asia, became an oddly unique time capsule. Ancient secrets have not been built on top of or destroyed in Libya; they have simply been covered by sands of time.
In the past few weeks, I have visited Sabratha, Tripoli , and now Tocra, Libya and have been unable to enter the shuttered Museums where I once spent hours pouring over every broken clay jar, fractured mosaic, and statue lacking various extremities.
For me, as a Libyan, Tocra was the last draw. I found my way through a museum window, and became somewhat enraged at what I know is happening on a large scale. Unless someone is as alarmed by this as me, Libyan history may just be available to the world “tomorrow”...with no specific time frame provided.