BEIRUT (AP) — Unknown assailants broke into the places of work of Lebanon’s state-run Nationwide Information Company and stole the servers that include its archives, the Data Ministry stated Monday.
The theft occurred in a tightly secured space, additional reflecting the cash-strapped nation’s continued decay. The archives are situated in a constructing that homes two ministries, throughout the road from the Lebanese central financial institution, and adjoining to the heavily-guarded Inside Ministry that’s in control of safety within the nation.
Data Ministry workers Monday morning noticed the door to the archive room beneath floor stage open and its lock damaged.
In keeping with the assertion from caretaker Data Minister Ziad Makari, the archives contained images and materials courting again to 1961. The assailants additionally stole 5 computer systems. He known as it a “crime the scale of a nation”.
The theft is one other blow to Lebanon because it confronts a devastating financial disaster. The nation for years has struggled to fund and preserve its state media businesses and archives. France and Lebanon in 2022 signed an settlement to digitize its archives as a part of wider efforts to protect Lebanese heritage and historical past.
Laure Sleiman, who was the state-run information company’s director from 2009 till late 2019, led the archival course of after discovering over two million picture negatives in a darkish room with damaged furnishings, workplace tools, and rats.
Makari stated an investigation is at present underway to seek out the stolen servers and apprehend the perpetrators.
“I can’t categorical the unhappiness I felt once I heard the information,” Sleiman advised The Related Press. “I belief within the work of the intelligence department, however it’s going to all rely who stole it and if politics will intervene within the investigation because it at all times does.”