Rebels leave artifacts, destroy Qaddafi’s Cars

"Libyan rebels liberate Gaddafi’s custom Fiat 500" image via Jalopnik

In times of revolt, museum collections are sometimes looted or irreparably damaged. Thankfully, artifacts at the Jamahiriya Museum in Libya have remained unscathed…. almost. In late August, rebels searching for a secret tunnel to Quaddafi’s residence broke into the museum which is the home of an ancient art collection. oh yeah. AND a few of Quaddafi’s cars.

From the New York Observer:

The rebels proceeded to smash the automobiles, which included a Volkswagen Beetle and a Jeep that the leader used in the 1960s as he was coming to power.

“It was a revolution – you can’t resist. It was better to let the rebels in than have them enter by force,” Mustafa Turjman, the head of research for Libya’s department of archaeology, told the paper. “When they saw the objects belonging to Gaddafi they couldn’t resist.”

One might think that if any works called for deaccessioning, they would be a former dictator’s modern cars in a museum devoted to ancient archaeology. But…

Museum officials said that they will eventually restore the cars. Said Mohamed Shakshuki, the acting president of the department of archaeology, “Staff never wanted to display the cars but we could not refuse… We don’t consider them part of the classical collection. In the future, however, we will expose them to the public because they are part of our history.”


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