Libya's Department of Antiquity halts sale of stolen ancient statue in France

Libya's Department of Antiquity halts sale of stolen ancient statue in France

October 26, 2016 - 22:01
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Written By: AbdullahBenIbrahim

A stolen statue from the ancient city of Cyrene, a UNESCO world heritage site, has been found before being sold in Paris, the Benghazi-based Department of Antiquity has reported.

It said the funerary statue was found in cooperation with the French Archaeological Mission in Libya.

Archaeologist Khaled Al-Haddar said this type of statues can only be found in Cyrene, adding that more than 150 statues have been discovered in Cyrene tombs.

The funerary statue, believed to be worth millions of dollars, was due to go under the hammer in Paris on October 24 before being found, the Department of Antiquity added.

The director of Department of Antiquity Ahmed Younis said they are now working with the concerned French authorities to claim ownership, which, he said, needs some time in order to register it at the department first.

"We have a French lawyer who will take the necessary legal procedures to repatriate the statue," Younis pointed out.

The director of the French Archaeological Mission in Libya Vincent Michel indicated that the funerary statue was first stolen from Libya and then smuggled into Spain from where it reached France.

Michel also demanded the Libyan Department of Antiquity to provide all the necessary documents to prove ownership of the statue to speed up its return to Libya.

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