Some stolen Egyptian artefacts recovered

Monday, February 14, 2011

CAIRO - Some of the artefacts stolen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo during the recent unrest that toppled president Hosni Mubarak have been recovered, the minister for antiquities affairs said Monday.

The objects - a heart scarab, one of 11 small wooden statuettes of Yuya, a piece of a coffin dating back about 3,000 years - were found on grounds near the museum, according to a statement from the minister, Zahi Hawass.

However, other objects were reported missing. These included an unknown number of amulets stolen from a storage unit in the town of Dahshour, south of Cairo, over the weekend.

Boxes full of artefacts were also stolen from storage in al-Kantara, in the northern Sinai Peninsula, Jan 28. The ministry said an inventory of both storage units was underway.

Artefacts that remain missing include - two small gilded wood statues of king Tutankhamun, a limestone statue of his father Akhenaten holding an offering table, a statue of queen Nefertiti making offerings and a sandstone head of an Amarna princess.

During the political unrest, hundreds of Cairo residents had rushed to form a human chain around the museum to protect it from vandals. But looters broke into the building and damaged several antiquities, including two mummies and some statuettes.

The military is now guarding the museum, which is in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the 18 days of protests that led to Mubarak’s ouster.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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