Saturday 29 September 2012

More Allegations About Egyptian Antiquities

To judge from recent news coming out of Egypt (apart from being a tourist magnet), one of the main functions of antiquities in the public perception is as a tool for personal attacks on political enemies, especially members of the former regime. This of course is all the while when real damage is occurring, perhaps some find these disputes useful to distract attention.
Recently there has been a new spate of accusations directed against President Hosni Mubarak and his family members that when in power they were offering genuine Egyptian relics as presents to their guests. According to Al-Aribiya News today:

Sobhy Attiya Younis, Dean of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Mansoura University, was amongst those who accused the former president of gifting away Egypt’s patrimony, the daily reported. “Mubarak and his family gave many genuine relics as gifts. Whenever they expressed admiration for a certain piece, it would disappear from the Egyptian Museum,” Younis told a Shura Council’s committee on Wednesday. Former presidents Gamal Abdul Nasser and Anwar al-Sadat had also given antiquities as gifts to their guests, Younis was quoted as saying.
The new Antiquities Minister, Mohammed Ibrahim Ali issued a statement on Friday saying that there is no evidence proving that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has given antiquities from the Egyptian Museum as gifts to visiting dignitaries. "Egypt’s antiquities belong to the people and the ministry is committed to protecting them, Ali said, urging anyone who has evidence on the allegation to report it to the general prosecutor". 

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