Monday, 14 February 2011

Looting and damage to artefacts in Egypt

As things start to settle down in Egypt, reports about looting and damage to artefacts and sites start to emerge. For example, Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass has now confirmed that 18 items have disappeared from the Egyptian Museum, probably stolen during a break-in on 28th January. The list includes a statue of Tutankhamun.
However, it is perhaps more disturbing to read that the theft would be an acceptable justification for the “dispersal” of major artefacts through the world.
I think I have about a thousand problems with this person’s statement but I could see it coming. For now I will only say that if this was to happen in a fair and consistent way, we should start by dispersing not only all treasures but also all wealth.
At the other end are those who argue it is wrong to think of artefacts when human lives have been lost, such as one of the responses to the AAA's "Signs Statement of Support for Egypt"  posted on Zero Anthropology 


  1. The official list of missing objects is below.
    You can read details on Zahi Hawass' blog

    1. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess

    2. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun harpooning. Only the torso and upper limbs of the king are missing

    3. Limestone statue of Akhena

    ten holding an offering table

    4. Statue of Nefertiti making offerings

    5. Sandstone head of an Amarna princess

    6. Stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna

    7. Wooden shabti statuettes from Yuya (11 pieces)

    8. Heart Scarab of Yuya

  2. A list of objects (including images) that have been stolen from the museum in Cairo have now been posted on the website of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

    PDF file can be downloaded here.

    The SCA website also has a section dedicated to artefacts that Egypt is actively seeking to repatriate.


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