Egypt: 96 artifacts stolen from museum in southern city of Aswan

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities has announced that nearly a hundred small artifacts, some dating back to the time of the Pharaohs, have gone missing from a museum in the southernmost city of Aswan.

In a Wednesday statement the ministry says 96 artifacts, mostly small figurines and beads, disappeared from the Aswan Museum's storehouse.

Employees noticed a number of artifacts missing, the statement said. A committee looking into the theft checked the storehouse's inventory and found that the lock on the inner door had been broken.

Officials in Aswan said the disappearance was a first for the museum, which hasn't experienced the thefts that have plagued some other museums around the country throughout the unrest of the past three years.

They spoke anonymously as they weren't authorized to brief the press.