Monday, February 14, 2011

Revolutionary Road

When the call for change in Egypt erupted some weeks ago I was of two distinct minds, at once hopeful for much needed political change and fearful for the treasures within this culturally rich nation. Over the weekend Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, revealed that Cairo's Egyptian Museum, in fact, sustained greater losses than initially reported. Thankfully it was nothing on the level seen in Iraq after Saddam Hussain was deposed, but the reality still stings. Hawass listed the eight missing works on his website. While looking them over my heart sank when I saw the statue of King Tutankhamen with a harpoon.

According to Hawass' report the statue is now lost from the waist up. I can only hypothesize that the thieves, thinking it was solid gold, snatched at it only to snap the gilt wood figure in half. Of all the statues recovered from the legendary tomb of the boy king this 29 1/2 inch masterwork is considered to be the most harmonious. It is truly iconic. I hope the upper section is recovered and restored soon. See the complete list of thefts here.

1 comment:

  1. These losses are a sad blow to culture. Robbing tomb artifacts has been goung on for thousands of years. Whether the thieves were Egyptians uncaring of the destruction of their heritage, or foreigners taking advantage of a somewhat chaotic situation, we don't know. Sadly there is a big private market for such items in that part of the world. But hopefully they will eventually be found.