Museums on high alert for ancient Egyptian loot

02 Feb 2011 11:21 AM | Anonymous

Museums on high alert for ancient Egyptian loot

(Reuters) - International museums are on high alert for looted Egyptian artifacts and some archaeologists have even offered to fly to the country to help safeguard its ancient treasures, museums said Wednesday.

Egypt has been rocked by an unprecedented nine days of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-rule, and fears are high for the country's priceless heritage after looters broke into the Egyptian Museum in Cairo last week.

The specter of the fall of Baghdad in 2003 looms large in the minds of Egyptologists, when thousands millennia-old artifacts were stolen or smashed by looters in the chaos following the fall of Saddam Hussein.

"The situation during the fall of Baghdad is the worst case scenario, but we think that's not going to happen because there is such a movement to protect the antiquities," said Karen Exell, chairwoman of Britain's Egypt Exploration Society and curator of the Egypt collection at the Manchester Museum.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/02/us-britain-egypt-antiquities-idUSTRE7114X420110202

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