Unrest in Egypt Causes Unrest for Ancient Artifacts

February 16, 2011
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The political unrest and rioting is endangering artifacts throughout many museums and archaeological sites within Egypt, specifically within the city of Cairo. With the increase in riots, there is also a decrease in the security in the surrounding area. Due to this, numerous people have been given the opportunity to break into museums and archaeological sites that are not sufficiently protected. As the situation of the rioting intensifies, so does the possibility of the artifacts being damaged.

At the moment, the head of the Department of Ancient artifacts in Egypt, Dr. Zahi Hawass, is concerned about the possibility of losing the objects that he so thoroughly protects. Currently, many museums and archaeological sites have already been robbed and looted. An example of this could be demonstrated through what happened to the mummies of the grandparents of Tutankhamen. It has evidently been reported by the Wall Street Journal that the heads of the two mummies of Tutankhamen’s grandparents have been decapitated due to the numerous robbers who invaded the museum.

In addition to these events, Dr. Hawass wants many artifacts that have been left in the hands of the U.S. to be returned to Egyptian museums, as he feels that they rightfully belong there, and that American museums take little pride and care in the artifacts that they possess. Dr. Hawass stated that “We cannot be like Afghanistan," who is referring to a civilization that has lost many of its artifacts due to constant war and fighting. "Civilization is inside the Egyptians." Dr. Hawass suggests that the artifacts placed in the hands of the American museums either be returned to Egypt or be placed in the hands of European museums. This is because Dr. Hawass feels as if the museums throughout Europe take better care of their possessions and artifacts, and are more likely to keep the artifacts in a sufficient condition.

Despite these statements, however, many people are questioning the actions of Dr. Zahi Hawass. These people claim that it would in fact be unwise to return these objects to Egypt, as the dangerous political situation within Egypt leads to a high possibility that these objects will either be severely damaged or destroyed. This would result in the opposite goal of what Dr. Hawass was trying to achieve, and would inadvertently make the situation worse for the artifacts than as opposed to if they stayed in the US. Again, these are just the opinions of numerous individuals and are not necessarily true or false.

Apart from the comments by Dr. Zahi Hawass, in addition to the dangerous situation for the artifacts, certain museums are still heavily protected, and have even survived numerous riots and mobs that are present outside the museum doors. In fact, the famous Egyptian Museum, located just a few feet from Tahrir square in Cairo, has survived countless mobs and riots throughout the city. The majority of the artifacts within this specific museum still remain well-preserved and intact. Many people currently hope that, regardless of the situation in Egypt, these artifacts, which are considered to have extreme monetary and historical value, will stay intact and remain well-preserved.

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Hawk said...
Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm
I didnt know so many riots were going on!!
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