A somewhat un-generous interpretation of why Egyptians gathered to protect museums and monuments from looting.
Why do Egyptians link arms in Tahrir Square to protect their National Museum, while thousands of objects are still missing from the Iraqi Museum and many of their sites look like the lunar landscape?
The differences have nothing to do with love and respect for history, or knowledge of its importance to the world. Most Iraqis know of and revere their iconic sites such as Babylon, Ur and Nimrud; in the same way Egyptians revere the Pyramids, Luxor and Tutankhamen's tomb. All love their history and its importance in the development of civilization.
The difference is that Egyptians also value and utilize their cultural history as an economic asset and not merely an intangible cultural one.