Thursday, 17 March 2011

'Sting' Retrieves 12 Looted Egyptian Museum Objects

This news story is just breaking, Three men have been arrested trying to sell some of the items that were stolen from the Egyptian Museum for 50 million dollars. The interrogation of the captured men may also allow the telling of the full story of the break in. This is from the Luxor Times Magazine:
Ahmed Attia Mahmod [who] lives at Dar El-Salam district in Cairo formed a group to attack the Egyptian Museum on 28th January, during the clashes that occurred around the museum which distracted the attention.

This was revealed when he was arrested with a friend of his who owns a coffee shop in the same district and a third partner with 12 objects of the Museum’s missing objects. The perpetrators started to spread videos and pictures of the objects to mobile phones of others trying to find a buyer.

The Antiquities police in co-operation with the Armed Forces tracked them and set them a trap[,] with the help of a foreigner who works at the American Embassy in Cairo conv[inc]ing the criminals that he will buy the objects for 50 million dollars[,] when the police and military police arrested them by Simon Bolivar square (near the American Embassy and American Research Centre in Egypt-ARCE) with 12 of the stolen objects in [their] possession.

From Talking Pyramids: All of the artefacts appear to be some of those listed in the official report that came out yesterday.

The items are:

* 5 bronze statues
* 1 limestone statue
* 1 statue of undetermined material
* 1 gold necklace
* 4 necklaces of faience and coloured glass

While valuable, no doubt, certainly there is no justification for anyone to think that you could get anything remotely like 50 million dollars for those 12 items. Even a hundredth of that would be a highly exaggerated sum. Also do we really believe these guys were so unsophisticated as to send out "videos and pictures of the objects to mobile phones of others trying to find a buyer" in a country where it was well known the government (granted a previous government) was in fact keeping close tabs on their citizens' use of the internet and mobile phones? That really seems to be asking for trouble. (UPDATE: I suspect though that there is a little more to this story that we are not being told, will the seized three plus one men be given a public trial? Let's see).

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