I’ve been glued to the news coming out of Egypt the past few days. This afternoon I wondered about the safety of the 5,000+ years of archaeological treasures housed in Cairo- Tut’s death mask, Hatshepsut’s mummy, and the rest of the trove housed in the Egyptian Museum.
Then tonight I read this post from The History Blog.
It brought tears to my eyes.
My hub and I have also been glued to the tv. I got caught up in the riots when Sadat raised the price of bread, had to take to the roof, and saw some nasty stuff as the rioters had entered the Heliopolis area. Those crowds swell and move fast. It's really scary!
We'd also wondered about the museum as we visited so often. Many, thru the years, have said the museum should be moved to safer digs as Tahir Square is a focal hot point. I felt somewhat relieved when I read your link (thank you!) but still have doubts about later. Extremely poor people are among the rioters. They can break in, steal, sell and return to villages and live like kings. In so many ways, what's happening in Egypt is beyond serious.
It is a scary time in Egypt. Hoping things turned out good for all the people and the treasures remain in the museum.
Thoughts in Progress
Kittie- I believe some of the treasures will be moved when the new museum by the Pyramids opens (later this year?), but right now they are definitely in the hot spot. I'm glad most Egyptians have such pride in their history and can only hope the artifacts all stay safe until things calm down over there. If they don't, I'll have words for Mubarak myself. (Especially if anything happened to Hatshepsut!)
Mason- I hope Mubarak can work things out ASAP, but I am not holding my breath. I just read another article highlighting the similarities between his current situation and that of the Shah of Iran (who is buried in Cairo because Iran didn't even want him once he was dead). Things aren't looking pretty.
It's awful. I hope the artifacts survive all this. I see why it brought tears to your eyes with your passion for Egyptian history.
I still hurt when I think of the looting of the Baghdad museum and of the destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues on cliffs in Afghanistan.
It's heartwarming to hear that people formed a human chain to protect their history in Egypt. Please, let it hold.
The news reports I've seen are so sad and scary. I hope things get straightened out soon!
Thanks for the link Stephanie. It's so moving when people care enough about their history to be willing to risk themselves to protect it. I know YOU would certainly be a part of that human chain if you could. I'll be praying that the fire doesn't harm the museum or its artifacts.
I just read a similar article. It really gives me hope to see people thinking about preserving history in the middle of the turmoil in that country.
Oh! I'm so glad you posted on this– I saw a picture of them forming a human chain and you do not know how relieved I was to see it! I did hear from a news source that two men got in and broke a few items and two mummies may or may not have been harmed, but if that is the worst of it, I am thanking God. Those treasures are much more important than just one nation, and I am SO proud of those Egyptians who stood up and stopped FOOLS from endangering something so important to the entire WORLD. I am fairly certain the military is guarding the museum now, and I think we're going to be VERY fortunate in all of this.