Egypt’s heritage crisis

25 Jul 2014 6:02 PM | Anonymous

Egypt’s heritage crisis

The looting of Egypt’s cultural heritage is reaching epidemic proportions with even some major sites now not left untouched, writes David Tresilian from Paris

The breakdown in security that followed the collapse of the Iraqi regime in March 2003 led to the widespread looting of archaeological sites up and down the country, together with the looting of the National Museum and Archives in the capital Baghdad. The ongoing conflict in Syria has seen a similar collapse of security in many parts of the country, with predictable effects on the country’s heritage.

Now it seems that Egypt too may be suffering from the effects of the breakdown in security that has taken place over the past three years and since the 25 January Revolution. While no one is suggesting that this breakdown has led to the kind of losses seen in other Arab countries, where heritage sites and institutions have in some cases been badly damaged or even partially destroyed, the situation of even archaeological sites close to Cairo is becoming more and more worrying.