Concerned archaeologists called today on Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to return police to archaeological sites. The move is required to put an end to illegal excavations and wild looting of storehouses and tombs.
“The desecration of archaeological sites and monuments is not only a huge loss for the people of Egypt on a national, economic, and human level, but is also a loss to all of humanity and to science,” Tarek El Awadi, director of the National Egyptian museum, said in an open letter to Sharaf.
Following the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak last month, a new unprecedented wave of looting and vandalism took place at various sites in Egypt.
“During the revolution of January 25th, the Egyptian Army protected our heritage sites and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in the last 10 days the army has left these posts because it has other tasks to do,” said Zahi Hawass, who resigned this week as minister of antiquities in protest at the lack of proper action on the looting.
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