Thursday 19 July 2012

Egyptian Antiquities Videos Fake: Official

As we know, you cannot believe everything you read in newspapers. 
On Tuesday (sic), Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website and Ahram Online received a video from a source who requested anonymity showing artefacts which, the source alleged, had been stolen from the Egyptian Museum at the height of last year’s Tahrir Square uprising and subsequently smuggled to the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena for sale to the highest bidder. Museum officials, however, say the artefacts shown in the video were never part of the museum's collection. "The objects shown in the video are fake and have nothing to do with the Egyptian museum," Yasmin El-Shazly, head of the museum's documentation department, told Ahram Online.
It is a shame the newspaper did not check its sources more carefully before publishing such stories. They claim they did, but Yasmin El-Shazly is strongly critical of their efforts. Mind you, I do not know what we can make of the statement of Elham Salah, supervisor at the museum's Central Administration for Scientific Affairs, "... "Some ninety per cent of the objects reported missing from the museum [after the uprising] were later recovered," she asserted. "And no sarcophagi, papyri or naohs [naos shrines] were among the objects stolen"...". The newspaper adds that the video which fooled Al-Ahram was not an isolated occurrence:
Noureddin Raslan, an Egyptologist at the museum, pointed out that a number of videos had appeared online since last year's uprising claiming to show antiquities stolen from Egyptian archaeological sites and offering them for sale. Among the best known of these sites, Raslan said, were 'Treasures and Burials' (Konouz wa Dafaein) and 'Archaeologists Forums' (Montadayat Ulemaa Al-Athar).
Raslan went on to point out that one such site even featured a photo of King Tutankhamun’s famous gold chair – one of the most celebrated pieces in the Egyptian Museum's collection – claiming it too had been recently stolen and offering it for sale.
Source: Nevine El-Aref, 'Egyptologists refute video claims about artefacts looted from Egypt Museum', Al-Ahram Wednesday 18 Jul 2012

see also:

Paul Barford, "Egyptian Museum artefacts stolen during Jan uprising for sale in Qena" - Provocation?, PACHI blog Monday, 16 July 2012.

Anon., "VIDEO: Egyptian Museum artefacts stolen during Jan uprising for sale in Qena", Ahram Online, Monday 16 Jul 2012 [Page no longer exists].

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