The History Blog has posted that Egypt’s archaeological sites and museums will re-open tomorrow. This is good news for their economy, but the bad news is that the looting was more prevalent than first suspected.
Several sites and storehouses were broken into during the protests, including tombs in Saqqara. There have also been reports of illegal digs throughout the country, something difficult to monitor when the entire country is essentially an archaeological site.
Zahi Hawass also apparently covered up the fact that several items were stolen from the Cairo Museum, including a rare statue of the heretic Pharaoh, Akhenaten. A 16 year-old boy found the statue by a garbage can in Tahrir Square and gave it to his mother who in turn showed it her brother, a professor at the American University in Cairo. He called the authorities and had it returned.
Photo from Zahi Hawass.
This is sad news. I feel like the Egyptian people did everything they could to protect what was in the heart of the protests– hopefully things will be recovered as easily as the statue by the garbage can :-/
It's good at least one statue was returned. I hope more are returned intact as time goes on.
Good grief! It's so sad. But thank goodness for honest people.
How terrible. I'm happy one statue was returned. Hopefully, the rest will find their way home.
Such a shame. I hope more of the pieces prove recoverable.
I have another award for you, Steph!! 🙂
That's tragic. History, once lost, can never be reclaimed. I wish people, in their greed for money, would realize the greater wealth they're squandering.
I'm delighted there's been some recovery, even if it's one small statue.
Steph, hub and I just looked at an amazing program on PBS, The Riddles of the Sphinx.
With the time zone changes and with good programming luck, perhaps it's on in your area this evening.
I can't believe I didn't hear about this before! That's just terrible. I had the honor of visiting Egypt many years ago and going to the Cairo Museum and I desperately want to go back. The entire world suffers when such historical treasures are lost. 🙁
BTW, I just discovered your blog and as an Ancient Egypt enthusiast I really want to read your book!
Yikes! Why would people take this stuff..especially just to toss it in the garbage? Hope it all gets found as these are treasures to Egypt and the rest of the world:)
So so sad.
I gave you an award that you can pick up here: http://vbtremper.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/award-thursday/
See ya soon!
So sad about the looting and the disrespect to these treasures. Thank goodness about the one that was returned!
It's sad that people would desecrate and steal artifacts. 🙁