Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, February 12, 2011

As we all feared items were stolen from the Egyptian Museum. Dr Hawass has posted a list at HTTP://

This includes the torso of the harpooning statuette as we all suspected, although the museum still has the base. That must have been known about for several days.

It is not alone.  A statue of Tutankhamun carried by a goddess is also missing as are items from the Yuya and Thuya collection and from the Amarna collection. I will post more tomorrow.

Also, a store in Dashur was raided last night.

We all suspected that the Mubarak regime was suppressing the truth of looting, so prepare for more bad news over the next few days.


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely disgraceful. I am sorry but there is no excuse for this. The Tutankamun collection is the most priceless collection from the ancient world, it is the very cream of the premier league and the security surrounding it should have been unbeatable. Instead we have an inadequate pathetic mess. Hawass ought to resign in shame daveh

Anonymous said...

I think all the animosity towards Hawass is unwarranted, he's in a peculiar situation and is doing a good job in my opinion.

tim said...

Two weeks later and Dr. Hawass is just now reporting the famous statuette of Akhenaten with offering tray is missing? Certainly Dr. Hawass is doing damage control and without doubt looking after his image.

The responsibility for protecting the museum and it's artifacts in all conditions belongs to Dr. Hawass.

Anonymous said...

Hawass puts a great deal of personal effort into appearing frequently in the news as the wise protector of the Egyptian culture heritage and simply does not have time or sufficient inducement to also protect all of that old stuff.

Anonymous said...

That the thieves have been granted two weeks to get away with national treasures, with a theft that you and I would have noticed in the first hour, is perplexing.

I think there will be more angry reactions like this one:

Recall: when last year paintings were stolen, the Ministry was all eager to prosecute the innocent museum director (who had been begging for more money for security forever) --
but now everyone will walk away unaffected, the Minister first.

John Bright said...

BBC midday news has just had an extended report on this that confirms the thefts.

Patrick Philpott said...

I entirely agree with Anonymous (why hide your name, friend?), but do not expect Hawass to resign. Anyway, we can only hope he gets the push in the next few days. He is definitely bad news for Egyptology, and has been for too long. This business is just the last straw!

Anonymous said...

Patrick i have not hidden my name, i always put it at the end, daveh

rymerster said...

Hawass was very careful with his statements during the last couple of weeks, in fact after the break-in made a point that the protesters just wanted democracy and freedom not to destroy their heritage (this was quoted on Kate's site), so maybe he will survive.

Anonymous said...

Es terrible! y porqué sólo se hablan de piezas de la dinastía XVIII y puntualmente lo que me pone muy mal es que son objetos de la familia directa de Akenatón, su madre, abuela y sus hijos.
Primero se garantiza la seguridad de los objetos del museo y luego esto, realmente es una noticia muy triste y es terrible y luego de que tan solo a unos pocos días todos estuvieramos expectantes de la tumba de Ankhsenamon (no soy buena con los nombres). Voy a atreverme a decir que esto no es al azar...

Patrick Philpott said...

Sorry, daveh, my mistake.
Our Spanish friend agrees with you, by the way (commentary Nº 10), although somebody has given her the idea they're on the point of finding Ankhsenamun's tomb.
By the way, do you think people like Hawass have any shame?

Anonymous said...

I am still a fan of Hawass by the way Patrick,i still think his good points outweigh his bad and he is a great public speaker and obviously is a very proud egyptian, passionate for all of egypt's history and people. However his focus and concentration on his job as SCA chief in my view is distracted by his constant efforts to develop his persona, ie his books, lectures, tv programmes, etc. Hence i reluctantly am now of the opinion that he should step down to allow a man with more focus less distractions to take over. Daveh

Anonymous said...

Look at how these things were handled before Hawass rose to control. Hawass is doing a much better job than anybody previously did.

Also, He has his job because he was personally given it by Mubarak. He has stood up for the protestors, there is only so much this guy can do without losing his position.

Also, how would he know that every statue is still present in the museum until an inventory has been made? There's hundreds of thousands of items in storage there. Be fair about this, I think it's rediculous how the supposed archaeological community hates this man. He has done more good for Egypt's antiquities than any other individual, ever. Period. The man deserves some respect.

Anonymous said...

On another note, the catty remarks that he presents himself as protector of Egypt is just asinine. He has continuously said that the Egyptian people themselves have protected the artifacts, and that the SPHINX is protecting Egypt. I'm not trying to be cute here, but although Zahi certainly has a huge ego, in this disaster he has done an outstanding job, and more power to him. That people would blame him for somebody breaking in through the roof of the museum and stealing something shows a real lack of depth in your thinking on this.

The man has many flaws but has devoted his life to raising the profile of Egypt's antiquities and it's tourism industy, and has done a phenomenal job at it.

Don't worry, he'll be too old to serve eventually, and you'll get your boring stuffed shirt nobody's ever heard of, and news out of Egypt will slow to a trickle. The science of archaeology will return to the same boring dusty pastime that it was in the 60's and 70's.

Until then, Hawass will continue to sensationalize even the most trivial discoveries with his television shows, press releases, and over-exagerated love of everything Egyptian. God bless him.


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