CAIRO: Several items, including two statues of pharaoh Tutankhamun, were stolen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo during a break-in in late January as part of the widespread protests which led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass said on Saturday that the staff of the database department at the Egyptian Museum had given him their report on the inventory of objects at the museum. "Sadly, they have discovered objects are missing from the museum," he said in a statement.
Among the missing objects are two gilded wood statues of pharaoh Tutankhamun: one where he is being carried by a goddess and another where here is harpooning. Of the second one, only the torso and upper limbs of the king are missing.
Other stolen items include a limestone statue of Akhena, a statue of Nefertiti making offerings, a sandstone head of an Amarna princess, a stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna, and 11 pieces of wooden shabti statuettes from Yuya. A heart scarab of Yuya is also missing.
"An investigation has begun to search for the people who have taken these objects, and the police and army plan to follow up with the criminals already in custody," Hawass said. "I have said if the Egyptian Museum is safe, than Egypt is safe. However, I am now concerned Egypt is not safe."
Hawass also said that, "in another terrible turn of events", a magazine in Dahshur near Cairo was broken into on Friday night. "This magazine contains large blocks and small artifacts," he said, without providing other details.
(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. )