Egypt removes 'god of death' Anubis from Nations Cup opening ceremony
Employees and security personnel are seen beside a statue of Anubis the God of death inside the Cairo International Stadium ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations opening soccer match between Egypt and Zimbabwe (Photo: REUTERS)
The Nations Cup organising committee decided on Thursday to remove a statue of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of death, from a show that will take place during the competition's opening ceremony on Friday just before the opening game between Egypt and Zimbabwe.
"The statue has been removed from the show," Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy told Ahram Online on Thursday.
"I spoke to the antiquities minister to ask about what the statue represents," Sobhy said.
"[Using the statue] was the choice of the international company tasked with organising the opening ceremony and they didn't know his identity.
"In any case it was a rehearsal and can be subject to modifications," he concluded.
A photo has been circulated of the Anubis statue during the rehearsal of the opening ceremony and has stirred controversy.
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said on Thursday that the selection of Anubis was an "unfortunate choice," stressing that the Egyptian civilisation has many symbols more important than Anubis.
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