Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tutankhamun's treasures are among those smashed in the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities.

Al Jazeera showed images Saturday of shattered glass cabinets and dozens of damaged antiquities inside of the National Museum, home to thousands of ancient artifacts, in what appeared to be the work of a small number of looters. On Friday, wire reports said that the army and a large number of protesters joined together outside the museum in an effort to protect its ancient artifacts.
The reports coming out of Cairo and Egypt about the National Museum are disturbing, like this report from the San Francisco Sentinel.  I haven't managed to see the pictures, I would probably find them very upsetting if I did, but a blogger reports this includes furniture from the tomb of Tutankhamun.  The most recognisable furniture would be the golden throne, but it does mean that the Tutakhamun hall was ransacked.  Thankfully a good number of artefacts are on tour.  The Eloquent Peasant reports:

 The footage appears to show wooden statues from the tomb of Tutankhamun with the gilded figure of the king ripped from the smashed bases. Images below show the statues in their original state, and their current condition:
 And:
Middle Kingdom models of daily life and their have been smashed. The damage on the famous army of Mehseti doesn’t seem to be too severe thankfully, but other beautiful models are broken and strewn on the floor.

The Eloquent Peasant has links to more photos.  The figures show the bases of gilded wooden figures from the tomb of Tutankhamun but the figures themselves cannot be seen.  We must fear that they have been looted.

Update

I have just seen the upsetting footage.  The pictures linked are most of it but some of the damage to the figures from Tutankhamun's tomb looks pretty serious.  The security forces are now patrolling with machine guns and say nothing has been stolen, but I doubt whether anybody has managed to do an inventory yet to be certain.

I'm out for the evening but I will have a look arond (late) when I get back in.

3 comments:

S.L. (Samantha) Stevens said...

Thank God I got the chance to go to the museum in 2007 and saw the beautiful wooden models before they were destroyed. This is so sad.

Anonymous said...

Well hopefully they are not completely destroyed Samantha, the restorers do miracles these days, daveh

S.L. (Samantha) Stevens said...

That is true. I saw some beautiful delicate wooden pieces at the Quest for Immortality traveling exhibit in 2004 that had been restored from a previously fragmented state. Judging by some of the photos I've seen of the damaged Cairo pieces, there is definitely hope.

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