September 8, 2011
We call on the international community to protect the ancient sites and antiquities of Libya, which face very real threats of damage and destruction caused by the unfortunate events and military action currently taking place there. The cultural heritage and archaeological resources located in Libya are irreplaceable elements of the world’s shared memory, going back thousands of years. The importance of guarding these treasures while civil unrest is underway cannot be overestimated.
We strongly urge immediate action to protect Libyan antiquities, cultural heritage, and archaeological sites, as illustrated at www.archaeological.org/news/aianews/4604. Through such action, significant archaeological artifacts and irreplaceable historic objects will be preserved in situ and in the many museums and sites across the country. Such an initiative will also help stem illicit international crime organizations that have links to money laundering, human trafficking and the drug trade and are known to exploit civil unrest and political instability for profiteering.
Elizabeth Bartman, President
Archaeological Institute of America