Monday 21 October 2013

Minister Ibrahim Asks for Help

Mohamed Ibrahim, Egypt’s minister of state for antiquities and a professor of Egyptology at Ain Shams University in Cairo has written an article ('Egypt’s stolen heritage', The Washington Post, October 19 2013) asking American collectors and dealers to support efforts to prevent the sle of stolen archaeological artefacts.
But thieves are raiding our archaeological sites and selling their findings to the highest bidders. They are taking advantage of Egypt’s security situation to loot our nation’s economic future and steal from our children. Egyptians need the people and the government of the United States to support our efforts to combat the systematic and organized looting of our museums and archaeological sites. [...] with much of our history still waiting to be discovered under the sand, the potential losses are staggering. Antiquities theft is one of the world’s top crimes — after the trafficking of weapons, narcotics and people — but it is seldom addressed.[...] Among those who make their money selling antiquities, cooperation with the Egyptian government has been mixed at best. [...] Every day, Egyptians risk their lives to prevent organized gangs from stealing our heritage. Our country is not the only place under attack: Iraq, Syria, Libya, Peru and Guatemala are suffering similar assaults on their heritage. Halting these crimes on our civilization will require a coordinated global effort — from both the “producers” and the “consumers.” It is our common duty, in Egypt and around the world, to defend our shared heritage. International institutions, governments, business, archaeologists and other experts must come together to explore how to help countries in need protect their treasures.
Do you reckon he wrote the same for the papers in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem and other areas involved in the Near Eastern antiquities trade? PS it was not Amenhotep III's "tomb".

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