Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Egyptian Antiquities Minister: We've Got Things Under Control

Egypt's current antiquities minister is quoted as stating,

"All the warehouses of antiquities are fully secured, noting that only 2 percent of the artifacts were stolen during the state of lawlessness which prevailed in the country, he added."

If so, where is the "emergency" that has prompted all the lobbying from the archaeological community and the sole source contract to ICOM to prepare a "Red List" of Egyptian antiquities that are supposedly at risk?


Dorothy King said...

Oh for goodness' sake, the man is a pratt. "Only 2%" stolen - that's a heck of a lot considering how much is in Egypt, and almost as much as in Iraq since 2003.

And the rest of the article sounds odd - Israel-Egypt is a very tightly controlled border, and this sounds like the least obvious route to smuggle stolen items.

Cultural Property Observer said...

It's unclear the reasons for the returns to Egypt from Israel. I suppose it could be material from old archaeological excavations in the Sinai.

Well, it seems like the warehouses are secure at this point. 2% could be a lot, but perhaps not. For the Iraq Museum, they were literally counting every bead lost as a single artifact. Like many articles in this area, it raises more questions than it answers.