Image of the day at ArtDaily.com, shows the tanks outside the Cairo Museum
I was sitting at the Firestone service station yesterday with my mother. I have been having ongoing drama with my car. While we were waiting for a diagnosis, CNN was on the TV and was showing constant coverage of everything that’s been happening over in Egypt. Among the fall-out from the protests, women are missing, at least 100 people have died, thousands have been injured….. and according to Art Theft Central (aka Mark Durney) and Mr. Derek Fincham (insert eye roll here) apparently 2 mummies at the Cairo Museum have been destroyed and the ticket office has been ransacked.
Now, I spent all summer looking at security protection to prevent stealing at museums. Clearly, these Egyptian museums hold national heritage that are intrinsic to human history. I do not think the mummies were destroyed on purpose, since it has been said that the looters dropped in from the ceiling. I just feel that while protecting the cultural heritage is important, these protests are not about destroyed ancient Egypt, it’s about regaining control in current Egypt. From the way things are sounding, it is going to get worse before it gets better. Watching what is on the news and then reading these blog entries, which are negating what is happening outside the museum, I feel like they are not getting the whole picture, and someone please explain to me who are Tourism police?
Image released yesterday after the break-in Saturday. ArtDaily
Apparently, I was wrong. The heads of the mummies were ripped off on purpose, according to a Canadian Press article. Fincham is now sending out an update stating that looting at institutions is happening all over the country. Already today, February 1, more than 100,000 people have gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo for the Million Man March to push for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and while all that is happening, looters make a push every day to break in the museum. A director noted that they seem to be looking for gold and are unaware of the value of the other artifacts. Shocking statement right? I’m sure no one is surprised that with the civil unrest, the looters aren’t researching the collection before they try and break in, but even Zahi Hawass, the antiquities chief, noted the number of people trying to break in were few. It is usually the few who ruin it for the many.