Two Thieves Steal Bells from Historic Church in Libya

Two Thieves Steal Bells from Historic Church in Libya

Jamal Jawhar- 16 April 2018
The bronze bell ‘Etienne’, one of the eight bells for the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Reuters
Two thieves sneaked to the historic Saint Mary’s Church in the old city of Tripoli, Libya, stole its copper bells and sold them in a scrap market, at a time when Libyan antiquities are being easily stolen and smuggled abroad.

On its Facebook page, the Tripoli Security Directorate (TSD) said it had arrested two persons after they admitted to stealing two bells from the church and selling them to a scrap merchant.

TSD noted that it had managed to recover one of the stolen items, while the search continued for the other.

The Directorate has warned merchants from buying any items suspected of theft and asked them to inform the authorities in case of any suspicion.

Libyans in Tripoli live amid fear of robberies, kidnapping, blackmailing, and killing.

Saint Mary’s Church of Tripoli was built in 1615, restored in 1829, and then closed in 1970.

Mohamed al-Sawi, curator at Tobruk Museum told Asharq Al-Awsat that Libyan antiquities are being stolen and smuggled abroad, noting that citizens sometimes find some precious historic pieces and hand them over to the museum.

Rome museum robbed of €10,000 ($12,357)

The Local IT

16 April 2018

Rome museum robbed of €10,000

Inside Rome’s Centrale Montemartini museum, a converted power plant. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Thieves held up the Centrale Montemartini museum in the south of Rome on Sunday, making off with some €10,000.

Two men armed with handguns approached the ticket office at around 5 pm, while a few visitors were still queueing to enter, Rai News reported.

One of the robbers aimed his gun at a member of staff while the other forced another employee to lead him to the museum’s safe. The thieves dragged the safe to the exit, where a third accomplice was waiting in a getaway car.

No one was reported injured.

Police are using witnesses’ account and CCTV footage to try to identify the men, whose faces were covered for the heist.

The Centrale Montermartini was closed on Monday as usual. Housed inside a former power station in the industrial-turned-trendy neighborhood of Ostiense, the public museum displays ancient sculpture and artifacts that belong to the municipality of Rome.

Nothing was stolen from its collection in Sunday’s robbery.

More daring art heists in Italy have seen thieves make off with works worth millions of euros. In 2015, a gang stole masterpieces by Rubens and Tintoretto from a museum in Verona with the help of a security guard, while several precious paintings have been snatched from churches.

And in January, jewels worth several thousands of euros and owned by Qatar’s ruling family were stolen from a show at the Doge’s Palace in Venice.