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Egyptian artifacts in danger - antiquities chief

 
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Toth
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:37 am    Post subject: Egyptian artifacts in danger - antiquities chief Reply with quote

Lesser known museums have been emptied of artifacts

Egypt's antiquities chief has expressed concern the country's valuable treasures are at risk because of the continuing chaos in the country.

Zahi Hawass posted an update on his blog — with the help of an Italian colleague since internet services are suspended in Egypt — saying his heart is broken.

Hawass said many valuable artifacts have already been taken and some of the country's lesser known museums have been emptied of their treasures, including the one in Memphis — the capital of ancient Egypt, about 19 kilometres south of Cairo.

Hawass said the Coptic Museum, Royal Jewelry Museum, National Museum of Alexandria and El Manial Museum had all been broken into.

He also said he is afraid the ruling National Democratic Party headquarters in Cairo, torched and vandalized by demonstrators on Friday, could collapse and topple onto the 100-year-old Museum of Egyptian Antiquities next door.

"If this building is destroyed, it will fall over the museum," Hawass said Saturday.

Damaged objects can be repaired

About nine looters took advantage of the citizen uprising to break into the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities early Saturday in an attempt to steal mummies.

They managed to lop off the heads of two mummies and damage a dozen objects before other residents cordoned off the building, also known as the Egyptian Museum, by making a human chain and prevented the looters from leaving.

Margaret Maitland, an Egyptologist at Oxford University in Britain, says she and her fellow experts may have identified the damaged mummies by studying TV footage.

Writing on her blog, Maitland said the beheaded mummies may be Yuya and Tjuya, the great-grandparents of Tutankhamen and "two of the best preserved mummies from ancient Egypt."

It's not known what happened to the looters. Hawass said in his posting that all of the damaged objects can be repaired.

Tanks rolled into place around the museum late Saturday.

The museum is home to about 120,000 artifacts, including the famed gold death mask of King Tutankhamen. It also sits close to Cairo's Tahrir Square, where the city's main protests have been taking place.

Plans had been underway to build a bigger museum outside the city near the pyramids, because the museum itself is crumbling and too small to adequately feature most of its collection.

Around the country, armoured personnel carriers have been seen protecting archeological sites, including the Karnak Temple in the ancient town of Luxor.

Richard, aka
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NefertariMut
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth...

Great minds think alike. I was about to post the information which Dr. Hawass wrote.

It's so sad that this is occuring. I only hope that this ends soon and all parties will come to some sort of agreement.

Hope all is well with you.
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Anup
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The museum had been closed all day because of the street demonstrations, but after virtually all police abandoned their posts, "people began to enter the museum," says Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's antiquities department. They climbed over walls, forced open doors and entered the museum's vast souvenir shop. "I'm glad that those people were idiots," Hawass told TIME. "They looted the museum shop. Thank God they thought that the museum shop was the museum."



Laughing

Well, in light of all this, it's nice to see a little humor.
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stephaniep
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember correctly the Memphis museum is mostly open air and full of statues much too large to move (luckily) and some cases of not very exciting smaller stuff.

http://terraeantiqvae.com/profiles/blogs/danos-en-el-museo-de?xg_source=activity

The map of the looters shows a hit in Thuyu & Yuyu room as well as royal mummies. Luckily the people involved were cultural illiterates & didn't know where the best loot was displayed.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anup wrote:
Quote:
The museum had been closed all day because of the street demonstrations, but after virtually all police abandoned their posts, "people began to enter the museum," says Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's antiquities department. They climbed over walls, forced open doors and entered the museum's vast souvenir shop. "I'm glad that those people were idiots," Hawass told TIME. "They looted the museum shop. Thank God they thought that the museum shop was the museum."



Laughing

Well, in light of all this, it's nice to see a little humor.


Maybe they'll get a spot on the worlds dumbest criminals.

I mean they're in a building full of priceless antiquities, some of which are made of real honest to goodness gold and they make off with a bunch of hokey, overpriced fakes.

Actually, you have to wonder if these guys were the distraction while the real crooks went to work upstairs. There's a rumor out that some of these looters were cops or disgruntled museum guards. Going through the skylights took some knowledge and planning.

According to an interview Hawass had to break into the museum himself along with some of the protestors who volunteered to help--someone stole the museum keys.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/30/AR2011013003244.html
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Toth
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naunacht wrote:
Anup wrote:
Quote:
The museum had been closed all day because of the street demonstrations, but after virtually all police abandoned their posts, "people began to enter the museum," says Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's antiquities department. They climbed over walls, forced open doors and entered the museum's vast souvenir shop. "I'm glad that those people were idiots," Hawass told TIME. "They looted the museum shop. Thank God they thought that the museum shop was the museum."



Laughing

Well, in light of all this, it's nice to see a little humor.


Maybe they'll get a spot on the worlds dumbest criminals.

I mean they're in a building full of priceless antiquities, some of which are made of real honest to goodness gold and they make off with a bunch of hokey, overpriced fakes.

Actually, you have to wonder if these guys were the distraction while the real crooks went to work upstairs. There's a rumor out that some of these looters were cops or disgruntled museum guards. Going through the skylights took some knowledge and planning.

According to an interview Hawass had to break into the museum himself along with some of the protestors who volunteered to help--someone stole the museum keys.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/30/AR2011013003244.html


Thank you all for your responses to this in fact sad message, a few comments: Stephaniep, yes, I have seen that map, may we conclude from that that "talkingpyramids" identification was correct? If so, those looters should be punished severely Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation

Naunacht,, I read that, and I wondered, were those keys just laying around somewhere, which would be just as much a breach of security as the camera's being off-line when the - still missing - Van Gogh was stolen, and - if my suspicion is correct Mr. Hawass should resign; if it was an extra set for the director, r someone else, that person should be fired immediately Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation Shocked

Anup, some of it may be quite comical, but police abandoning their posts (and as rumors go: start looting in civilian clothes ) is not so comical, IMHO

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sick at heart over this. I just can't believe it. I keep hoping I'll wake up and find it was a bad dream. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

burlgirl wrote:
I'm sick at heart over this. I just can't believe it. I keep hoping I'll wake up and find it was a bad dream. Crying or Very sad


It isn’t a bad dream but sad reality. What I’ve read the last 20 minutes about plundering in more remote areas, deliberately destroying ancient tombs, looting depots that held recently excavated artifacts….
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are continuing updates from EEF and there is damage to sites in Saqqara (old kingdom tomb near Djosers pyramid) at Abusir and Mit Rahina (Memphis).

There is a page on facebook dedicated to this issue with a request for people to contact representatives of their government, UNESCO etc to bring this issue up front and center and put pressure (if possible) to have people do something.

Protect Egyptian Cultural Heritage (name of page on facebook)
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/home.php?sk=group_188849054473805&ap=1

and

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/home.php?sk=group_188849054473805&view=doc&id=188859454472765
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talking about Unesco, it is very silent from their part as is of the United Nations and Safety Council (or whatever it is called)
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Toth
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this one on the web (I hink it was on Hawass' page, which obviously is outside Egypt)




Now, Anneke, I think you immedately noticed what is wrong with this picture, did you?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:
I found this one on the web (I hink it was on Hawass' page, which obviously is outside Egypt)




Now, Anneke, I think you immedately noticed what is wrong with this picture, did you?


Hey, It's a miracle! She grew an eye!
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:46 am    Post subject: Egyptological Looting Database 2011 Reply with quote

Egyptological Looting Database 2011

Arrow A Site by Site Database of the Damage to Antiquites in Egypt

Aset
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Toth
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Egyptological Looting Database 2011 Reply with quote

Aset wrote:
Egyptological Looting Database 2011

Arrow A Site by Site Database of the Damage to Antiquites in Egypt

Aset


good site, Aset, Nice new avatar BTW; looks familiar Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newsletter from osirisnet.net (Thierry Benderitter and Jon Hirst):

Quote:
Dear friends

We am afraid there are bad news from Saqqara, but which still need to be
confirmed.

One archaeologist present at the famous cemetery of Saqqara, south of Cairo,
said that as many as 200 looters were digging for treasure in the area this
past weekend before police resecured the area. The excavator, who requested
anonymity, added that the tomb of Maya, the wet nurse of King Tutankhamun,
was "completely destroyed." Another Western archaeologist said, "We still
don't know the extent of the damage, but things have been bad and out of
control."

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/02/egypt-update-rare-tomb-may-have.html?ref=ra

Thierry Benderitter and Jon Hirst

Aset
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