The theft of the golden mask

15 Apr 2011 2:01 PM | Anonymous

The theft of the golden mask

By Dr. Zahi Hawass

The theft of Egyptian antiquities not only concerns me, but Egypt as a whole. However, let me say that during the past seven years we have been able to return more than five thousand artifacts to Egypt, which were stolen or smuggled out of the country in various ways. Soon a book I have written about the theft of antiquities from Egypt will be published, and this book will deal with how such antiquities were smuggled out of the country, as well as how they were returned, following conflicts and deliberations with those who found themselves in possession of stolen artifacts.

What is important here is to stress that the thefts and break-ins in our museums and archaeological sites, during the recent difficult period in Egypt, will not stop the ambitious project which we started years ago, namely the project to restore Egypt's stolen artifacts and antiquities by any and all legal means, ensuring that these return to Egypt. The thefts have been exploited by some parties, particularly foreign bodies and museums that still retain stolen Egyptian artifacts, in a campaign which claims that these artifacts would not be safe in Egypt. This is an insult, and nothing more than an opportunistic response to our calls for the return of our stolen and looted treasures!

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