Libya's Antiquities Department refutes UNESCO report on Lepits Magna
The Head of Leptis Magna Control Committee said the UNESCO's decision to place this ancient archaeological site on the List World Heritage in Danger is inappropriate, saying the city is totally secured and UNESCO’s decision was baseless.
Archaeologist Ezzedin Fagi, told The Libya Observer on Saturday that upon touring Leptis Magna, one can see that there are none of the vandalism or sabotage acts the UNESCO talked about when it decided to put the archaeological site on the “in danger list” in Istanbul conference, saying the Control Committee is carrying out anastylosis works in the site so that it maintains the glamour of the city.
“What we’re doing to preserve Leptis Magna should place it on the list for top world heritage sites not on the World Heritage in Danger List.” Fagi added, pointing out that the UNESCO placed five Libyan archaeological sites on the “in danger” list even though there was not a single Libyan representative in the Istanbul Conference.
He also confirmed that the ancient city of Sabratha and old town of Ghadames, both were also placed by UNESCO in the danger list, are in good condition.
“We’re preparing reports in coordination with the Antiquities Department in Tripoli about the status quo of the city currently in order to respond to the UNESCO’s decision.” Fagi told the Libya Observer.
“My message for the UNESCO is an invitation to come to Leptis Magna and see the true image and the real situation so that it can better evaluate the condition of the city.” He remarked, asking the officials in the country and municipality of Al-Khmos to play a more active role in protecting the city.
On July 14, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee placed five sites in Libya on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The magnificent city of Leptis Magna is one of the most sought tourist destinations in Libya. It is also the most spectacular and unspoiled Roman ruins in the world, with its imposing public monuments, harbour, amphitheatre, market-place, storehouses, shops and residential districts.
Leptis Magna, also known as Lebda, Lubdah, Lebdah or Labdah, is located in Al-Khmos city, about 125 km east of the capital Tripoli.
Leptis Magna appears to have been founded by a group of local Berbers and Phoenicians sometime around 1000 BC. The city was enlarged and embellished by Septimius Severus, who was born there and later became emperor.