The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 45, October 30, 2011, Article 21

LIBYA'S TREASURE OF BENGHAZI COIN COLLECTION STOLEN

Arthur Shippee forwarded this item about the theft of a famous coin collection in Libya. -Editor

Treasure of Benghazi silver didrachm

A gang of Libyan looters have raided a priceless collection of gold and silver coins that are believed to date back to the time of Alexander the Great.

The thieves carried off with the pieces, known as The Treasure of Benghazi, having drilled through a concrete ceiling at the National Commercial Bank of Benghazi. An expert has described the raid as 'one of the greatest thefts in archeological history.'

Whilst the break-in was initially believed to have been part of the uprising against Muammar Gadaffi, Hafed Walada, a Libyan archeologist working at King's College London told The Sunday Times; 'It may have been an inside job.

'It appears to have been carried out by people who knew what they were looking for.'

Alongside the coins, several artefacts, including monuments and figurines of bronze, glass and ivory, as well as jewellery, bracelets and medallions, are also believed to have been seized by the thieves.

Early leads had initially pointed to neighbouring Egypt, where a farmer had attempted to smuggle 503 gold coins and a golden statue through the port city of Alexandria, however attempts to locate him have thus far failed.

Most of the Benghazi treasures had been on Libyan soil following a mass recovery of the collection between 1917 and 1922 from the temple of Artemis, in Cyrene - an ancient Roman city, now Libyan territory and otherwise known as Shahat.

During the Second World War, much of the treasure was on display at the Museum of Italian Africa in Rome, but eventually returned to Libyan soil in 1961 and was kept at the bank.

To read the complete article, see: Robbers make off with priceless Treasure of Benghazi after drilling into underground vault at Libyan bank (www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055283/
Libya-Robbers-loot-priceless-Treasure-Benghazi-bank-vault.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
NBS (coinbooks.org) Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster
coin