By now you’ve undoubtedly read about the deplorable looting and damage at religious, cultural and archaeological sites during the recent widespread unrest in Egypt. The Malawi National Museum in the city of Minya, south of Cairo, was particularly hard hit, sustaining the loss of “more than 1,000 other artifacts in the biggest theft to hit an Egyptian museum in living memory,” as reported by Aya Batraw of the Associated Press.
According to another report on the Malawi losses by Nevine El-Aref in Al-Ahram, the Egyptian newspaper, it is alleged that “pro-Morsi protesters tore down the museum’s internal gate and broke into its halls, damaging and stealing some of its treasured artifacts.”
A 320-page photo list of objects lost from the Malawi museum (with descriptions in Arabic) has now been released. UNESCO reports that an English-language version of this list is in the works as a deterent to illicit trafficking.
This is giving all of us traumatic flashbacks to another (much shorter) list of objects that were reported missing from Cairo’s Egyptian Museum during the time of the people’s uprising in Tahrir Square, more than two years ago. (Some of those were eventually recovered.)