Libya urges Spain to speed up return of stolen Greek-era antiquities

Deputy Head of Presidential Council meets in Tripoli with Spain’s ambassador (Photo: Media Office)

The deputy head of Libya’s  Presidential Council Ahmed Mitig demanded on Sunday Spain hand over smuggled Libyan antiquities recently seized by Madrid.

Mitig made his remarks during a meeting with Spanish Ambassador to Libya Francisco de Miguel in the capital Tripoli, according to a statement by his media and communication office.

Spain’s ambassador expressed his country’s readiness to cooperate with Libya on the return of the smuggled items.

“The Libyan embassy in Madrid has presented a Memorandum of Understanding regarding judicial cooperation and protection of Libyan cultural heritage.” Mitig confirmed.

He also said he hopes for the return of Spanish companies to Libya, especially in the field of water desalination.

Chief of the Libyan Archaeological Authority, Mohamed Faraj, there are nearly 25 smuggled pieces held in Spain.

Meanwhile, the Libyan Archaeological Authority said last March that smuggled Libyan antiquities of the Greek era would soon be restored after negotiations with Spanish authorities.

In 2017, the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed it was following up 11 antiquities smuggled to Spain, the sale of which was stopped by the Spanish authorities.

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