Restoration work begins at Egyptian Museum - Museums Association

Restoration work begins at Egyptian Museum

But Egyptian minister of antiquities denies reports of large-scale looting and damage
Work has started on the restoration of objects damaged by looters at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, according to Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian minister of antiquities.

Hawass, writing on his website on 8 February, said that up to 25 of the 70 objects broken at the museum are now being restored. Among the objects damaged when looters entered the museum on 28 January was a small statue of Akhenaten, which was the first object to be cleaned and restored.

Hawass has also continued to reassure people that reports of large-scale looting and damage to cultural sites and museums in Egypt are untrue.

“I would once again like to say that the rumours claiming that the tombs of Maya, Nefer and the Two Brothers in Saqqara were recently damaged are not true,” Hawas wrote on his blog. “The Imhotep Museum and the storage magazines of Saqqara are also safe.”

Meanwhile, international effort has focused on messages of support for those working on the ground to protect Egypt’s cultural heritage. Museums and collectors have also been urged not to buy Egyptian material with unclear provenance.

The International Committee of Egyptology, part of the International Council of Museums, issued a statement on 3 February: “We would ask all to watch the international art market very carefully for the appearance of objects that may have been stolen from museums and storage facilities or looted from cultural sites. We strongly ask our colleagues in the museums to avoid buying works of art from Egypt that have no clear and proven provenance, and to assist alerting private collectors to do the same.”

In the UK, the Metropolitan Police Service's Art and Antiques unit told Museums Journal: “We are aware of the alleged looting in Egypt. However the extent of it is currently not known and at this stage no formal reports have been received.

"Should the Art and Antiques unit receive any notification of stolen antiquities, they will be circulated to the members of our museums and art market forums. We urge any potential purchasers of artefacts to fully examine any provenance provided and, if suspicions arise, to contact the police or Crimestoppers.”

Click here to visit the website of Zahi Hawass (

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