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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Update on the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

The famed Egyptian Museum is near a major plaza where many have gathered in the last few days to protest President Mubarek's grip on power. As looters moved onto the grounds of the museum, the Christian Science Monitor reports: "One man pleaded with people outside the museum's gates on Tahrir Square not to loot the building, shouting at the crowd: 'We are not like Baghdad.'" The paper reports that others joined together to create a perimeter to protect the museum with one man remarking, "I'm standing here to defend and to protect our national treasure."

The military later arrived on the scene. News outlets indicated that the military arrived around 5:15 a.m. local Cairo time on Saturday (January 29). CSM reports that the potential thieves were rounded up amid chants of "Thief. Thief" by the demonstrators.

I observed video on CNN showing shattered glass cases that house the well-known Middle Kingdom models of daily life found on the second floor of the museum. It appears from the video that parts of the models are damaged or missing.

Let us remember that the Egyptian people and their right to self-determination are much more important than artifacts. But more will be posted here about any news related to cultural heritage since that information is hard to come by at the moment.