For centuries, Europeans took Egyptian artifacts and brought them to Europe, most notably by Napoleon and Horatio Nelson. More recently, Egypt had been demanding those artifact returned. But now, amid all the chaos in Egypt, those artifacts are at risk.
Would-be looters broke into Cairo’s famed Egyptian Museum, ripping the heads off two mummies and damaging about 10 small artifacts before being caught and detained by army soldiers, Egypt’s antiquities chief said Saturday.
Zahi Hawass said the vandals did not manage to steal any of the museum’s antiquities, and that the prized collection was now safe and under military guard.
With mass anti-government protests still roiling the country and unleashing chaos on the streets, fears that looters could target other ancient treasures at sites across the country prompted the military to dispatch armored personnel carriers and troops to the Pyramids of Giza, the temple city of Luxor and other key archaeological monuments.
Hawass said now that the Egyptian Museum’s collection is secure from thieves, the greatest threat to the collection inside is posed by the torched ruling party headquarters building next door.
I’m sure, the European countries and museums that have been considering returning many artifacts to Egypt will cancel their plans to do so.
Hopefully, Egypt returns to peace and establishes a freer society and these artifacts can be safe. But I wouldn’t count on it.