Ancient Egyptian Artifacts In Danger As Chaos Continues In Cairo

Photo Credit: Associated Press-Tara Todras-Whitehill

As chaos and disorder continue to erupt in Egypt’s capital city of Cairo, Egyptians have looked to ensure that some of the world’s most prized and important artifacts from ancient Egypt remain safe.  The Egyptian Museum, which houses the largest collection of artifacts from Ancient Egypt is based Tahrir Square, also the center of the protests.  Earlier news reports seemed to indicate that the museum had caught fire from Molotov Cocktails.  However, it appears the museum is now secure and only its courtyard was set ablaze.  Some looters did break into the museum, in effect ripping the heads off of 2 mummies and destroying some other artifacts.  Even the famous exhibit of Egyptian Pharaoh King Tut was broken into where 2 sculptures of the boy king were broken along with some other artifacts.

Egypt’s chief of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass has been monitoring the situation to ensure that all of Egypt’s famed artifacts are as safe as possible.  Concern has arisen that the country’s artifacts could be destroyed in a similar fashion as was the case in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Hawass rejected that notion emphasizing how the Egyptian people love their culture and history.  The famed Valley of the Kings and Pyramids at Giza are also reported to be safe.  In Saqqara, where Egypt’s oldest pyramid complex stands, padlocks on the tombs were broken, but nothing was taken.  More looters were able to seize items being stored for a future museum.  However, most of the items have since been recovered.  As many ancient Egyptian artifacts have already proven they can stand the test of time, it’s doubtful that even the threat of mass protests will do them much harm.

UPDATE: No mummies were actually destroyed amid the vandalism.  However, 2 skulls happened to be removed from a CT scan machine.


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