Tuesday, October 6, 2015

One Third of Egypt Artifacts Smuggled Abroad During Revolts, Never Returned

One Third of Egypt Artifacts Smuggled Abroad During Revolts, Never Returned, Hawass says

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Egypt’s former antiquities estimates that one third of ancient Egyptian treasures were smuggled out of the country during the recent uprisings.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova An estimated one third of ancient Egyptian treasures were smuggled out of the country during the recent uprisings, Egypt’s former antiquities minister told Sputnik.

Thousands of artifacts were looted from Egyptian museums and heritage sites during two revolts in 2011 and 2013 that toppled presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi.

Zahi Hawass, a renowned archaeologist who headed the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs under President Mubarak, said a comparison of satellite images of Egypt taken in 2010 and in 2012 revealed that illegal excavation was going on right across the country.

"People began to dig illegally in search for antiques and I do believe that one third of the Egyptian monuments has been taken out of Egypt," he told Sputnik.

Hawass said he was able to retrieve some 6,000 Egyptian artifacts from around the world over the past decade. "But what was happening from 2011 to 2013 in Egypt is a disaster for our country and its heritage as everyone started to excavate illegally," he added.

The famous archaeologist said the landmark Cairo Museum was still missing 17 small statues out of 54 historic objects that were stolen during the uprisings.