Egypt army secures museum with pharaonic treasures: report

CAIRO Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:25pm EST

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Army units secured the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo against possible looting on Friday, protecting a building with spectacular pharaonic treasures such as the death mask of the boy king Tutankhamun, state TV said.

The news follows a day of violent anti-government protests in Cairo and other cities. Some of the most violent scenes in four days of protests have been in squares and streets close to the museum building.

It was also broadcast as reports of looting of some government buildings emerged. One Reuters photographer said looters had broken into a ruling party building near the museum and were walking out with furniture, computers and other items.

Well-known Egyptian film director Khaled Youssef had earlier called on the army to ensure the museum was protected, in comments to the Al Arabiya television channel.

"I am calling on the Egyptian army to head instantly to the Egyptian museum. There is a fire right next to it in the (ruling) Party headquarters," said Youssef, who has directed movies critical of government policies.

State TV carried a brief headline saying the army had secured the museum but did not give any more details.

The museum contains a huge quantity of ancient antiquities, including the contents of the tomb of Tutankhamun that was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. The gold death mask is one of the most spectacular pieces.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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Comments (4)
stratrider wrote:
Yep, looting. Isn’t that how all these democracy movements and flower revolutions end up? Some dead protesters then vandalism, then looting! And a new set of criminals in power? It’s an old script. If I were Obama, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. And if Mideast oil supplies are in geopardy, drastically affecting the price of filling up our Escalades and Denalis, so much the better – fewer bimboes on the road, texting while driving, and maybe we’ll finally develop a decent and modern public trasnport system in this country.

Jan 29, 2011 2:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
morristhewise wrote:
It is impossible to find a leader for the angry mobs in Egypt. He would have to hold a sword in hand, be pure of heart, and ready to drive the forces of evil from Egypt. Such a person can only come from the heavens because corruption lies in the hearts of all earthly men.

Jan 29, 2011 2:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Sinbad1 wrote:
Some are saying that the looting at the museum was stage managed by the secret police to portray the rioters as criminals.

Jan 30, 2011 2:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
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