Lebanon's news photo archive stolen in 'crime of national proportions': minister

Lebanon's news photo archive stolen in 'crime of national proportions': minister
Photographs documenting Lebanon since 1961, including during the country's devastating civil war, were stolen from the state news agency's headquarters, according to Lebanon's information minister.
2 min read
27 February, 2023
Lebanon is currently going through a crippling economic crisis [Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images]

A server containing photographs documenting Lebanon since 1961 has been stolen from the state news agency's headquarters in a crime "of national proportions", Information Minister Ziad Makari said on Monday.

"A National News Agency archives server that contains photographs of all the events since 1961 was stolen," Makari said in a statement.

This period includes the country's devastating 1975-1990 civil war.

"What happened was a crime of national proportions," the minister said.

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Unidentified individuals broke into the room housing the server at the information ministry before stealing the server itself and five computers, he added.

Lebanon has been reeling from an economic crisis dubbed by the World Bank one of the worst in recent world history, crushing its already crumbling state institutions.

The Lebanese pound has lost more than 95 per cent of its market value, leaving the bankrupt state unable to pay civil servants - including security forces - a decent wage.

This has pushed many civil servants to seek a second job or go to work just a few times a month to save on commuting costs.

Lebanon's economic upheaval has been met by political paralysis, with divided lawmakers unable to agree on a new president and on a cabinet lineup.