Archeology has long represented one of the most important areas of cooperation between Italy and Libya.
To celebrate seventy years of Italian archaeological missions in Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and Fezzan, the Italian Foreign Ministry promoted a photographic-documentary exhibition called: “Italy-Libya: the places of archeology, from archives to field”.
The exhibition, organized by the Central State Archives, the International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies (ISMEO), and the MedA Foundation, was inaugurated on June 9th, at the headquarters of the Central Archives, in Archivi Square, Rome, and will be open until June 30th.
The project aims to highlight the role of archival sources in reconstructing the history of Italian archaeological research in Libya. These resources include the archival collections of the Central Archives and the photographs of the “IsIAO Library” (National Central Library of Rome), which open the exhibition itinerary.
“The archaeological landscapes of Libya coincide with the places where the missions operating within the Department of Antiquities of Libya (DoA) are still active today. They represent a heritage that in the years of the Italian occupation (1911-1943) was lent for a long time to rhetorical narratives with clear propaganda purposes ”, reads the press release by the Central Archives.
Starting from the 1950s, the study of this legacy transformed into an increasingly constructive dialogue between the DoA and the Italian archaeological missions. A process that also benefited from the exchange with other foreign missions in Libya.
Archaeological research, without forgetting the past – the documentary sources are there to remind us – is today renewed in its objectives, methodologies, and in the assumption of new responsibilities under the sign of a new form of cooperation.
During the inauguration of the exhibition, on June 9th, the promoters of the event, representatives of DoA and the Central Institute of Restoration, will intervene and present the catalog of the exhibition “Libya-Italy: shared archeology“, which will open in Tripoli from September to December 2022).
The joint commitment carried out by the two countries in the archaeological field was also protagonist last September in Tripoli, with the exhibition “Libya-Italy: a joint activity in the field of archeology”.