Ancient Egypt

Egypt’s precious ancient artifacts victims of turmoil

The 111-year-old Egyptian Museum, a treasure trove of pharaonic antiquities, has long been one of the centerpieces of tourism to Egypt. But the constant instability since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak has dried up tourism to the country, slashing a key source of revenue. Moreover, political backbiting and attempts to stop corruption have had a knock-on effect of bringing a de facto ban on sending antiquities on tours to museums abroad, cutting off what was once a major source of funding for the museum.

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Oct. 30, 2013: The solid gold mask of King Tutankhamun is seen in its glass case, in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
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Oct. 30, 2013: An up close view of an ancient Egyptian statue at the Egyptian museum near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
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Oct. 30, 2013: An ancient Egyptian damaged statue is seen on display in its glass case inside the damaged and restored room in the Egyptian museum near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
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Oct. 30, 2013: The mummy of Egypt's famed King Tutankhamun's grandmother is seen in its glass case in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
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Oct. 30, 2013: Visitors look at antiquities inside the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
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Oct. 30, 2013: An ancient Egyptian statue is on display in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
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Oct. 30, 2013: Ancient Egyptian antiquities are seen on display in the Egyptian Museum.
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Oct. 30, 2013: A restored collar is seen on display with lights reflected on its glass case inside the damaged and restored room in the Egyptian museum.
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In August, violent clashes roiled Egypt, looters made away with a prized 3,500-year-old limestone statue, ancient beaded jewelry and more than 1,000 other artifacts in the biggest theft to hit an Egyptian museum in living memory. Damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor of the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was  ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. The interim Cabinet authorized police to use deadly force against anyone targeting police and state institutions on Thursday. The violence capped off a week that saw more than 700 people killed across the country.

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Aug. 17, 2013: Rows of display cases are broken and empty at the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Aug. 16 in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt.

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Aug. 17, 2013: Damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor and in broken cases in the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted.
AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper

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Aug. 17, 2013: A damaged pharaonic object lies on the floor of the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013.
AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper

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Aug. 17, 2013: The smoldering ruins of the Evangelical Church of Malawi are seen after it was ransacked, looted and burned on Thursday by an angry mob.
AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper

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Aug. 17, 2013: An Egyptian walks in the ruins of the Evangelical Church of Malawi after it was ransacked, looted and burned on Thursday by an angry mob, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt.
AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper

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Aug. 17, 2013: A damaged object lies on the floor of the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted.
AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper

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Aug. 17, 2013: Egyptians walk in the ruins of the Evangelical Church of Malawi after it was ransacked, looted and burned on Thursday by an angry mob, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt.
AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper

Egypt’s precious ancient artifacts victims of turmoil

The 111-year-old Egyptian Museum, a treasure trove of pharaonic antiquities, has long been one of the centerpieces of tourism to Egypt. But the constant instability since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak has dried up tourism to the country, slashing a key source of revenue. Moreover, political backbiting and attempts to stop corruption have had a knock-on effect of bringing a de facto ban on sending antiquities on tours to museums abroad, cutting off what was once a major source of funding for the museum.

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