Egypt’s Heritage Plundered Anew

21 Mar 2014 2:14 PM | Anonymous

Egypt’s Heritage Plundered Anew

Looting of ancient Egyptian treasures by organized syndicates and enterprising villagers has been occurring at a frantic pace since the first days of the nation’s uprising in 2011. More than 50 artifacts were stolen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo at the height of the uprising, including items dating back to the time of the pharaohs.

Across a nation lax in security, more than 1,000 treasures were stolen from the Malawi National Museum in Minya last summer. Thieves took off with jewels of the pharaohs and painted sarcophagi that were part of a priceless trove, leaving burned mummies to underscore the crime. Satellite photos have shown areas stippled with fresh excavations by thieves raiding prized archaeological regions. Such plundering dates back millennia to the grand burials of the pharaohs, but now it has grown to catastrophic proportions in a modern market instantly open to “cultural racketeers” and global connoisseurs, according to Egyptian authorities

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/opinion-egypts-heritage-plundered-anew,html.

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