Wednesday 3 June 2015

Egypt museum staff arrested after artefact thefts

Egypt's National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation is in the news again, for a truly regrettable reason (Afp, 'Two Egypt museum staff arrested after artefact thefts', Daily Mail 3 June 2015):
Police have arrested two curators of a new Cairo museum for allegedly stealing ancient artefacts and replacing them with replicas, the antiquities ministry said on Wednesday.[...] "Two curators were arrested while replacing a pharaonic statue of (fourth dynasty) King Menkaure, discovered in Luxor's Karnak temple, and an ancient Islamic lantern with fake ones," Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati said in a statement. The arrests came following a police investigation into ancient Islamic artefacts being stolen from the museum's storage area and later being put up for auction in London. A ministry committee will make an inventory of the "priceless" collection that includes artefacts from prehistoric times to the present day, the statement added.
Ummm, surely the inventory should have been made before the objects were moved from the old storerooms to the new ones and updated as the objects were moved? That is not just a suggestion, it is standard museum practice.

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