Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, February 07, 2011

Dr Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities, released a new statement yesterday (6th February).  This refutes the account of the looting of the Memphis Museum given by Dr. El-Saddik, and her claim in De Zeit that the Egyptian Museum break in was in part an inside job.  There is a minor update on the two mummies, with Hawass saying he initially feared for royal mummies from the family of Akhenaten undergoing DNA testing.  [The fact that more mummies are still being tested is an interesting piece of news in itself.]

The biggest update is in relation to the items damaged in the museum.  To the previous list is added:

  • Tutankham's gilded walking stick which was snapped in two;
  • minor and repairable damage to a statue of Akhenaten bearing and offering tray; and
  • a New Kingdom mummy case which was opened but apparently not damaged.
There are some pictures, but not of the walking stick or statue which have been removed for repair.  He was accompanied by a reporter from the Wall St Journal so hopefully we should get some coverage from the Journal over the next day or so.


Stephanie said...

Kate, I am not sure if Hawass indicates that 18th dynasty mummies are still being tested.
He says "....thought that the two skulls thrown on the floor of one of the side rooms might belong to some of the royal mummies examined in our DNA research project on the royal mummies (the Egyptian Mummy Project), namely those found in KV55."
To me that sounds more like he simply refers to the mummies that have already been tested.

BTW, what exactly happened to the tested mummies (i.e. KV55, Kv35 YL+EL+the boy who was not tested, KV21A+B, the babies) after the testing? Were they all put on display in the Egyptian Museum?

Martin said...

Hawass states Tutankhamun statue singular (the panther). Seems to not acknowledge damage to the papyrus skiff statue as seen on Al Jazeera footage.Now he is Mubarack minister,should we be suprized?

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person who thought right at the very beginning that these items on display might be fakes?

Zahi seemed very relaxed and matter of fact about the damage (which could be an Egyptian trait).

The suggestion that items will be fully restored and put back on display in 5 days seems either a) rushed or b) they have the original somewhere else.


kmtscribe said...

Foreign experts stated that it would take some time before these
objects could be restored. Yet
Hawass says fully restored in 5 days!! In another message he says 70 objects from the Cairo museum were damaged, then, only a few.
There are no egyptians expert enough to do any restoration,
but it is amazing what can be done with a tube of Tarzan's Grip!!!
The 'egyptian expert' who worked on the floral arrangements found in KV63 used methods for repairing wood, not flora, and so these priceless flowers were damaged beyond repair (read the report)
Hawass also seems to not know, that only one mummy was found in KV55! Not fakes damaged,he is just playing down the fact that precious items are not safe in Egypt and none now safe in foreign museums should be returned.
His name says it all (Haw)ASS.

Anonymous said...

i agree with what you say kmt i think there are serious questions now as to the sca's ability and competence to protect egypts heritage. The vast majority of the egyptian public judging by their sentiments and actions clearly want this heritage protecting at all costs.
I have been a little sympathetic to hawasses demands for the return ofartifacts back to egypt, but no more (apart from all obeliscs, which would clearly fare better in egypts dry warm climate). Daveh

Scrabcake said...

Hey...all you need to fix that stuff is a little tape, a vice and some epoxy glue. BAM! FIXED IT!
A little gold spray-paint might be needed for patching over the glue drips and chips.
Something that baffles me is that Dr. Ikram says that the mummies were already dismembered, but I saw an image showing the lighter of the two mummies as a whole body, and it was definitely the same mummy. I want to believe!


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