Professor Jacobson is right: With the acquittal of Egypt’s supposedly evil dictator Hosni Mubarak, we’re almost back to square one.
Square one minus many national treasures of unsurpassed beauty and historical importance, that is.
I have been following the nearly unreported news of the plundering of Egypt’s archeological sites for some time. However, in the wake of the newest phase of “Arab Spring”, the adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood have begun to bypass digging through Egypt’s graves, and now have targeted the museums directly.
From the Luxor Times: 1040 objects were stolen out of 1089 objects on display on Mallawi museum in Minia which was looted yesterday. Most if the rest if the big size statues were damaged as looters couldn’t transfer them.
The Mallawi Museum has a Facebook Page, listing the taken treasures (click HERE to “Like”/View page). One of the most significant pieces taken was this statuette of an Amarna princess (created around the era the famous King Tutankhamen reigned).
A key aspect to understanding Egypt is appreciating that most of its citizens value their ancient heritage. For example, during the first uprising, local citizens formed a human chain to protect the Egyptian Antiquities Museum on Tahrir Square from those seeking to damage or steal its priceless contents. The citizens of Luxor joined the most recent protests after ousted president Mohamed Morsi made a man connected with the 1997 slaughter of tourists at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari as governor of that area.
This video has just been released via Egypt’s Heritage Task Force. It depicts Egyptians reviewing the destruction of the Mallawi Museum. No translation is available, but it does convey true sorrow for the loss. The scope of the museums destruction is viewable about halfway through.
“It is a great loss and I am really saddened by what has happened to such a museum,” Minister of State of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said.
Upon viewing the remains of the museum, Egyptologist Terri Natale had this to say: “So much destruction by thugs . .unforgiveable . .the Muslim Brotherhood are like the Nazis.”
There I would have to disagree. The Nazis stole the treasures to care for them within their own museums or private collection. The Muslim Brotherhood’s followers want to sell them or destroy them as part of Egypt’s pagan past.
The list of stolen artifacts is now being distributed among all Egyptian ports to prevent any smuggling attempts, the antiquities minister continued. International museums, UNESCO and the INTERPOL are planning to put these artefacts on the Red List to prevent its trading and to return the items safely to Egypt.DONATE
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