The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square has been shut down and surrounded my guards for the last eight days due to it’s close proximity to pro- and anti-regime groups who have been battling over the past few weeks.
Although no artifacts were actually stolen during this time, 70 items were destroyed or damaged.
My question, amidst all of this chaos, is what all does the Egyptian Museum hold? Why protect it so strongly and full-heartedly? Let’s find some answers.
First, the museum holds one of the most famous mummies of all time: King Tut (Tutankhamen). The exhibit includes items such as King Tut’s death mask.
During the looting, “the heads of two mummies were broken off and a statue of Tutankhamun on a panther was damaged” (according to The Age).
In total, the museum displays about 120,000 relics from several periods of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman history.
I tried to find the official web site of the museum but it seems to be down. I don’t know if this has anything to do with all that’s happening in Cairo right now.
If you’d like more information and updates on the state of the museum and Egypt, Dr. Zahi Hawass has been updating his web site regularly with updates. Dr. Hawass is the Egyptian antiquities chief and has been a main media contact throughout this entire ordeal.