Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update on current state of antiquities (Zahi Hawass)

Yesterday Hawass issued another update re the current state of antiquities in Egypt. Exerpt:

Dr. Hawass said it seems the looters dropped objects as they fled, and every inch of the museum must be searched before the Registration, Collections Management, and Documentation Department, which is overseeing the inventory, can produce a complete and final report of exactly what is missing. The museum staff is not yet able to move freely within the museum, and has, until now, had to walk in groups of 10-15 people, accompanied by soldiers. Unfortunately, this has slowed down the search, and made it very difficult to carry out a final inventory. The army is allowing very few people into the museum, and the first time the museum’s office staff was allowed in was on 6 February 2011. The list announced in the press release of 12 February, 2011 is preliminary, and will continue to be updated as new information comes to light. As Dr. Hawass has previously stated, until a full and thorough search of the museum and its grounds has been completed and all of the damaged vitrines inventoried, a list of missing objects cannot be finalized.

The main points that the update makes are:

Egyptian Museum, Cairo
  • Some items thought to be missing were retreived from trash cans and other areas of the museum grounds
  • Heart scarab of Yuya, one of missing Yuya and Thuya shabtis have been recovered
  • Part of wooden sarcophagus has been found
  • Re the statue of Tutankhamun carried by the goddess Menkaret, the fragments of Menkaret have been recovered but the Tutankhamun part of the statue is still missing.
  • Stories that the Tutankhamun mask had been stolen are wrong
  • The museum is still closed to visitors

  • All of the large and small blocks are safe
  • The only missing items appear to be small amulets

Qantara East in the Sinai
  • 298 have been returned from those looted at the end of January
  • The committee will take a full inventory and compare it to earlier inventories to determine whether or not everything has been returned


Kate Phizackerley said...

I read the report slightly difference. Fragments of the goddess have been found but there is no indication these amount to a complete figure - in fact the implication is that they don't. The figure of Tut is entirely missing.

Andie said...

Hi Kate. Yes, you're 100% right - I misread it first time through. I've now corrected it.