Six children were honored on Thursday by the Libyan department of antiquities for their discovery of archeological artifacts dating back to different eras.
The artifacts were found by chance near the Bab al-Tayer area in the ancient city of Shahat in eastern Libya.
Authorities said the artifacts found were sculptures, one of which was a marble carriage pulled by four horses.
A source told Asharq Al-Awsat that “despite the ongoing efforts to preserve the archaeological sites in the country, Libya needs more effective measures to preserve its heritage and retrieve all stolen items that were smuggled outside the country.”
The six children, along with their families, were honored by the department of antiquities. Students and professors of Omar Al-Mukhtar University also attended the ceremony.
This is not the first time that citizens discover artifacts that are handed over to the authorities.
The department of antiquities, with the support of the media department at Omar Al-Mukhtar University, has launched an awareness campaign, now in its second year, on stolen and retrieved Libyan archeological artifacts.
The team responsible for the campaign provided explanations on how to preserve the artifacts and how the Libyan youth can contribute in preserving their country’s cultural heritage, said the department.
Libyan archeological artifacts and antiquities have been the subject of widespread theft and looting by organized crime for decades as a direct result of the neglect of the country's authorities.
Citizens, however, are voluntarily returning some of the antiquities that fall into their hands “in spite of the millions of dollars that might be offered for them”.