Tripoli, Libya, 1953 - Following the declaration of independence of Libya, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) sent to that country a large mission of experts in agriculture, forestry, agricultural statistics and marketing.
Cured hides and skins count among Libya's most important export items, but in the last century poor flaying and curing and delay in curing have hampered and increases in that trade. The FAO expert, Mr. R.F. Innes, of the United Kingdom, soon found that flaying scars and cuts plus holes due to putrefaction were the main factors devaluating Libyan skins. He therefore drafted, with the help of the Libyan authorities, a law on flaying and introduced a new method of curing that yields a product of much higher quality. Having recently finished a second year in Libya, Mr. Innes observes that over 90 per cent of the skins are correctly flayed and that progress is steadily, if slowly, being made in curing methods. Already some European and American markets are paying higher prices for Libyan skins cured according to the method he introduced.
This photograph shows the owner of a curing yard examining a Skin cured according to the "new method". In contrast to those Cured by the former method, these have no smell and the hair Remains firmly attached.