Thursday 17 February 2011

Request/ Suggestion for the Egyptian Authorities Re Cairo Museum

This blog is apparently being read in Egypt too, among those looking in (hi guys) there's a computer in Cairo that has been following my attempts to make some sort of sense of the conflicting information trickling out very assiduously. So I hope they see this and pass on the suggestion to the decision-makers. Please.

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo normally has a strict no-photography policy. Would it not be useful if for a week (or two- depending on visitor frequency) after the re-opening this was suspended? This would allow visitors to the museum to take photos of the objects that were missing and are now back in their cases, to document the superb restoration efforts, and any damage that - despite all these efforts - is still visible. These photos would be an important historical record, but also set a lot of minds to rest and show the museum has returned to near-normal after these shocking events.

I additionally have an ulterior motive of course, preliminary reports suggest the Museum might be open again as early as Sunday (hooray!). My plane lands in Cairo on Sunday morning and I have a connection to Luxor only Tuesday (bought because I was originally booked in on a later flight which was cancelled) so - whether the Museum is open or not - guess where I'll be headed for on Sunday afternoon or Monday?


Mo said...

If you get chance to view today's Countryfile (20/2/2011) there were several discussions about metal detecting.

In the second part of the programme they discuss how taking items from a sight can decontextualise the find.

Mo said...

Taken from the Countryfile site.
Sorry its not on an appropriate thread but you don't need to publish my comments.

"Metal Detectors
Without the amateur treasure hunters who scour the countryside using metal detectors, much of our precious history would lay buried beneath our feet.
Only two years ago, the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure was discovered in a field in Staffordshire – three thousand gold and silver pieces dating back some fourteen hundred years. The Staffordshire Hoard is the most valuable find on British soil – worth more than £3 million. It’s now on public display so everyone can appreciate it.

But there are real concerns that unscrupulous treasure hunters who break the rules are destroying our heritage. The government’s conservation agency, English Heritage, is calling for a crackdown on all kinds of heritage crime. It warns that although the threat to archaeological items is high from illegal metal detecting, arrest or prosecution remains low.

John Craven finds out what the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard meant for the treasure hunter who hit the jackpot - and for the farmer who owned the land. He also meets Time Team presenter Tony Robinson who believes unscrupulous treasure hunters are literally stealing our history - and also discovers how to use a metal detector responsibly."

Tackling Heritage Crime - BBC News

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