UK refuses to return Libyan artifacts stolen over 200 years ago

UK refuses to return Libyan artifacts stolen over 200 years ago

May 09, 2022 - 20:33
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Lawyers for the Crown Estate of Queen Elizabeth II have reportedly turned down the request to return 'stolen' artefacts from the ancient Roman settlement of Leptis Magna in president-day Libya, despite a campaign of a British-Libyan lawyer, The National News has reported.

A London-based Libyan-British lawyer, Mohamed ben Shaban, submitted an official request last month to the Crown Estate of Queen Elizabeth II, asking for columns from the ancient Roman settlement of Leptis Magna in Libya to be returned.

After attempts at an amicable restitution were "repeatedly dismissed", Shaban told The National he had moved to seek mediation through the UN’s heritage body, Unesco.

 Shaban said he sent letters to the Crown Estate in October 2021 requesting the repatriation of historic stoneworks that in the 19th century were taken by a British diplomat from the ancient site of Leptis Magna near Tripoli.

He also indicated that he had been disappointed with the responses he received from the legal team acting for Queen Elizabeth – on whose land the ruins currently reside – in the six months since he first made contact.