Libya displays Roman treasures looted by Qaddafi troops

27 Nov 2011 11:13 AM | Anonymous

Libya displays Roman treasures looted by Qaddafi troops

Published: Nov 26, 2011 17:15 Updated: Nov 26, 2011 17:15

TRIPOLI: Forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi stole ancient Roman artifacts when they fled Tripoli, bundled them into sacks and planned to sell them abroad, Libya’s new rulers said on Saturday as they displayed the haul for the first time since its recovery.

The artifacts undefined a collection of 17 stone heads, most the size of tennis balls, and terracotta fragments dating from the second or third centuries A.D. undefined were recovered on Aug. 23 when anti-Qaddafi fighters intercepted a convoy of loyalists heading south from Tripoli.

“All of them (the artifacts) date back to Roman times but with very strong local influence,” said Saleh Algabe, director of the Antiquities Department in the new Libyan government.

“They were captured in cars belonging to Qaddafi militia which shows they were probably planning to smuggle them out of the country to fund their fight,” against the new Libyan leadership, Algabe told a news conference.

The carved stone heads in the collection appear to have been detached from statues. A section of a tile with what looked like an image of a dog decorated on it was also displayed.

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