The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the deliberate destruction of the Murad Agha Mausoleum, the 16th century burial site and shrine of the first Ottoman governor of Tripoli.
“I condemn the destruction of the Murad Agha Mausoleum, a historic landmark that belongs to all Libyans,” the Director-General. “Nobody is allowed to deprive a people of the vestiges of its past, which is also the bedrock of its future. Cultural heritage helps cement communities and societies and gives them strength to work for a better future.
“UNESCO stands ready to help Libya restore and preserve its cultural heritage,” Ms Bokova added. “Our Organization is also determined to pursue its work supporting the authorities in building expertise and raising awareness about the value of heritage and its preservation via educational programmes. Civic education must ensure that as many people as possible become aware of the inestimable value of tangible and intangible heritage for the country as a whole.”
The Murad Agha Mausoleum in Tajoura, near Tripoli, was built between 1551 and 1553. It was destroyed by the explosion of a series of devices deliberately placed in the site. There is concern that the nearby Mosque dating from the same period may also have been damaged in the blast that occurred in the early morning of 27 November.
The perpetrators of this act have not been identified but it comes in the wake of a series of attacks on cultural heritage sites in the country which began in January 2012, all of which have been condemned by UNESCO.
Media contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Press Service
Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 68 16 50, r.amelan(at)unesco.org