Priceless antiques Stolen From Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square

JNN 13 Feb 2011 : Looters appear to have made off with some of Egypt’s priceless antiquities during the anti-government protests of the past three weeks.

The minister in charge of antiquities has reported that 18 items are missing from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, including two gilded wooden statues of Tutankhamun.

The news came after a full inventory of the museum was carried out following 18 days of demonstrations which engulfed the area around the building, on the edge of Tahrir Square.

At the beginning of the uprising, on January 28, looters climbed a fire escape to the museum roof and lowered themselves on ropes from a glass pane ceiling onto the top floor.

Around 70 objects were damaged, but until the minister’s announcement it was not known whether anything was missing.

Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass said the museum’s database department determined eight objects were gone.

Investigators were questioning those already in custody since last month’s break-in.

The tomb of the Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun was discovered in 1922 by the archaeologists Howard Carter – one of the most important archeological finds of modern times.

Tutankhamun lived from around 1336-1327BC, and his tomb, found virtually intact, contained hundreds of gold and other precious artefacts.

An exhibition of items from the tomb created a sensation when it was brought to the British Museum in London in 1972.

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