Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Reports of looting continue to dominate in Egypt

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

With photos.

A report issued early this week shows that 800 artefacts are still missing from the Qantara-East warehouse in North Sinai. The storehouse was looted on 29 January -- the fifth day of the Egyptian uprising.

On that day, thieves broke into the warehouse and succeeded in stealing and escaping with what amounted to a significant part of its collection. The warehouse was being used to house the collections belonging to the planned Port Said, Sharm El-Sheikh and Taba museums, as well as many objects originally from Sinai that were retrieved from Israel following the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

Two days after the break-in, 292 of the stolen objects were recovered with the help of the army and members of the Sinai Bedouin community. However, the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs at the time was not able to assess the exact number of objects stolen until the completion of a detailed inventory.

The remaining objects in the Qantara-East warehouse have now been moved to safety in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

The result of the inventory revealed that some 800 objects are missing, all dating from the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Islamic eras.

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