Monday, February 14, 2011

Looting in the Cairo Museum

Zahi Hawass has now issued a preliminary list of some of the items that are now known to have been looted from the Cairo Museum ("Sad news"). The highly important pieces are:

  1. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess
  2. Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun harpooning. Only the torso and upper limbs of the king are missing
  3. Limestone statue of Akhenaten holding an offering table
  4. Statue of Nefertiti making offerings
  5. Sandstone head of an Amarna princess
  6. Stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna
  7. Wooden shabti statuettes from Yuya (11 pieces)
  8. Heart Scarab of Yuya
These objects are well known and documented, so they are likely to be recognised should they appear on the market or in a private collection,.

However the same may not be true for objects removed from archaeological stores.

Now we know that material has been looted, even if the scale is not yet evident, there is an urgent need for those involved in the trade in antiquities to be cautious over what they handle. They need to insist on properly documented collecting histories.

From Zahi Hawass.

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