Tuesday, February 22, 2011

King Tut treasures missing after Cairo Museum break-in

An inventory check at the Cairo Museum, Egypt - two weeks after the protests at the capital lead to a break-in at the national museum - shows that not all of ancient Egyptian treasures are accounted for.

Amongst the missing antiquities - ranging from little shabtis to larger stone statues - are objects that were discovered in King Tut’s tomb.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, announced today that the staff of the database department at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo have given him their report on the inventory of objects at the museum following the January break in.

Sadly, he said, they have discovered objects are missing from the museum.

Objects that were likely taken during the break-in, are a gilded wood statue of the 18th Dynasty King Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess; and one of two ritual figurines showing Tutankhamun harpooning a hippo (the damage the statue has sustained can be seen in the image in 'Egypt Protests Sees Cairo Museum Looted as Artefacts and Mummies are Damaged').

From the latter, only the torso and upper limbs of the Pharaoh are missing.

Also stolen from the museum are a limestone statue of Akhenaten holding an offering table, and a statue of Nefertiti making offerings.

Further objects that were recoreded to be lost are a sandstone head of an Amarna princess; a stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna; eleven wooden shabti statuettes of Yuya; and a Heart Scarab of Yuya.

Update Feb 16 2011: Some of these objects have been found and have been returned to the Cairo museum. These are the statue of Akhenaten, one of Yuya's shabtis, her Heart Scarab and parts of the statue of King Tut being carried by the goddess Menkaret.

Hawass asserted that an investigation has begun to search for the people who have taken these objects, and the police and army plan to follow up with the criminals already in custody.

Other Tutankhamun objects - such as the statue of the Pharoah standing on a black panter - damaged during the looting, are amongst seventy artefacts that will be restored.

In another terrible turn of events, on the night of 11 February, 2011 a magazine in Dahshur - called De Morgan’s - was broken into.

This magazine contains large blocks, as well as small artifacts.

The statement does not say if any objects were taken from the De Morgan's magazine.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

No comments: