Global Heritage Fund is pleased to announce an anniversary celebration for the inscription of Cyrene onto the World Heritage Site list. This celebration will be held on the 17th of December in Shahhat, Libya, under the supervision of Dr. Ahmad Abdulkariem.
Once one of the greatest cities of Greek civilization outside of Greece, Cyrene declined and then was abandoned after a series of economic and natural catastrophes. Described by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus as “deserted” in the fourth century AD, the subsequent years have turned the city into ruins, its large amphitheater, many temples, and sprawling acropolis having fallen victim to systemic neglect.
To counter this, Global Heritage Fund began a restoration project in Cyrene in 2006. The GHF-led program, held in partnership with the Second University of Naples, the Libyan Department of Antiquities, and the Libyan Ministry of Culture, focused on the area of the Sanctuary of Apollo. It was the first integrated project involving Libyans, Italians, and Americans working together, and aimed to implement the conservation work within a structured training program for site conservators, archaeologists, and site maintenance and park services personnel of the Libyan Department of Antiquities in Cyrenaica.
The GHF-led project at Cyrene was suspended in 2011 due to the beginning of the Libyan Civil War. Despite this setback, Global Heritage Fund is pleased to note the continued recognition and celebration of this monumental site, and is confident that the work done thus far has set it on the path towards long-term prosperity.