Benghazi police find historic books looted from university


By Libya Herald reporter.

Tripoli, 24 June 2017:

Police in Benghazi have found a collection of historic books and manuscripts looted by Islamist militants from Benghazi University.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Ashraf Al-Faidi, head of the investigation department at Benghazi Security Directorate, the treasure trove of old rare books, documents and collections of manuscripts was found buried in the courtyard of a house in Ganfouda where members of the so-called Islamic State and of Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council had been staying.

The trove was found as the result of information gathered during interrogation of some of the militants captured in Ganfouda.

It appears that they were hoping to sell the various works. Al-Faidi said that the prisoners had admitted that some of the collection looted from the university had been shipped from Benghazi to Misrata and from there flown to Istanbiul where they were sold.

Among the works recovered were some 30 collections of manuscripts, as well as religious, cultural, literary and scientific work. A few of the latter were recent, Faidi explained, but the bulk were extremely old. Some were more than 600 years old, he said.

The police were still searching to see if there were more items to be found and investigations were now in hand to try and track down the books and mauscripts that were sold abroad.

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