Undamaged picture of Queen pulled from Libyan rubble by Romford MP Andrew Rosindell
Romford’s royalist MP Andrew Rosindell said he “couldn’t believe his eyes” when he pulled an unscathed portrait of the Queen from the burnt-out ruins of the British Embassy, during a visit to Libya last week.
The Foreign Affairs Select Committee member, and vocal advocate of the Royal family, requested a special visit to the gutted building in Tripoli during a two-day meet-and-greet with Libya’s new democratic interim government.
“Everything inside the embassy was burnt out, there was just ash,” Mr Rosindell told the Recorder, “but I saw something white out of the corner of my eye, and underneath the rubble was a portrait of the Queen - practically untouched - I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“I felt it was ultra-symbolic; British troops had helped liberate the Libyan people from Gaddafi’s tyrannical rule.”
Mr Rosindell rescued the painting, which depicts a picture of the Queen in her youth, and presented it to British Ambassador Dominic Asquith, who will now display it in the new embassy building.
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The MP, along with committee colleagues Rory Stewart, John Stanley, and Richard Ottoway, toured former Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s palaces and compound in the Libyan capital, during the visit on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.
“The Libya people are preparing for their first proper democracy and it’s a time of huge change,” said Mr Rosindell.
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“When I was out and about a lot of people came up to me and thanked me for what Britain had done in rescuing their country.”
He added: “Clearly, I hate the idea of us going to war but sometimes it’s for the good - Gaddafi had terrorised his people for long enough.”
Colonel Gaddafi died in November last year folowing a people’s uprising.