Sunday, January 24, 2016

Climate of Fear

The Egyptian military dictatorship has charged museum employees involved in a botched restoration of the world famous Tut gold burial mask.  The criminal charges come after months of denials about severity of damage to the artifact.

It's likely the group tried to cover up their mistake because of fear of Egypt's military rulers.  In a less harsh system, the initial problem with the mask's beard would likely have been reported rather than covered up with a amateurish restoration job.  And no doubt those responsible would have been fired, but not be subjected to criminal punishment.

Is the death penalty out of the question in Sissi's Egypt?  Others who have done far less to insult the State have already received such a sentence.


John H said...

Hello Peter:

The Sissi regime, whom so many archaeologists (and those posing as such)find so sexy has tortured over 600 people in police cells, roughed-up journalists, and kept its hangman in overtime.

If those who botched the artifact repair do receive the death penalty - which I hope they don't - I wonder how many archaeologists, especially those in the excavation permit racket, will boycott Egypt as an excavation destination in protest?

Whatever sentence is eventually ladled out to the unfortunate conservators so-called, I wonder too whether UNESCO, unusually, will have anything meaningful to say for once? Don't hold yer breath!


John Howland

Cultural Property Observer said...

Another source says the worst that can happen to them is to be fined. Let's hope so!

John H said...