Though the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi remains in hiding, the rebels that overthrew his rule have begun to sort through the damage that has been done in the months of fighting. According to the Guardian, they have some good news to report: at Libya’s national archaeological museum, the Jamahiriya Museum, almost no works were damaged.
That is not to say that the rebels did not pay a visit to the Jamahiriya. In late August, a group of 20 men entered the museum, searching for a secret tunnel into one of Qaddafi’s residences. While visiting, they came across a variety of cars that the self-styled “king of kings” had installed on the top floor of the museum, which is primarily devoted to ancient art.
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.”
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.”