Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A true crime against humanity

This is an outrage:

Egypt’s antiquities ministry has released the final result of the post-revolution inventories, which reveal that 81 archaeological objects are missing from their collections. This includes 27 objects from theTel El-Faraein storehouse and 54 from the national museum in Cairo.

Egypt’s former antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, reached out to the international community and asked for help in recovering these objects, which are believed to have been stolen in the course of the riots and afterward.  UNESCO is responding by sending a delegation to assess the state to Egypt’s cultural heritage collection.
Considering Hawass was just sentenced to jail time in an unrelated case, I don't know that he is going to get right on that anytime soon.  But it's not his fault the artifacts are missing.

We need to be clear on this:  Egypt's Pharonic and Ptolemaic heritage is also our heritage.  The road to Western civilization ran through the Nile River valley thousands of years ago, just as it ran through Athens, Rome and London.  With no Memphis, Egypt there is no Memphis, Tennessee.  With no Alexandria, Egypt there is no Alexandria, Virginia (or Indiana, for that matter).  With no Luxor, Egypt, there is no Luxor Casino.  (OK, maybe that last one is a stretch ...)

We should be outraged at this desecration of Egypt's history and should do our part to make sure that history, be it the pyramids at Giza and elsewhere, the Valley of the Kings or the Antiquities Museum at Cairo, is protected.

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