Sunday, 30 January 2011

Egyptian Riots

Spare a thought for the Gold Death Mask of Tutankhamun (1323 BC) and other priceless treasures in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities amidst all the riots in Cairo. The museum is adjacent to the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party, which protesters have torched. Looters broke into the museum on Friday night, smashed a number of display cases, decapitated 2 mummies, broke statues and porcelain figures and raided the gift shop (title link). Government troops secured the museum on Saturday. Local residents also formed a human chain round the museum to deter looters. The main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, is organising Neighborhood Watch committees around Cairo to protect public and private buildings (CLICK). I'm not sure which is worse: dictatorship or Sharia law, both of which are brutal; but at least the two sides seem to agree that Egypt's ancient treasures must be protected. So far, the mask is safe.


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