Antiquities minister says Egyptian Museum open for business

Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim denied rumors Tuesday that security forces had withdrawn from the  Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo.

Ibrahim said the museum was still open to visitors and that any claim otherwise was an attempt to induce panic.

The minister said 2,400 foreign visitors had toured the museum on Monday during its regular hours.

Ibrahim also said media outlets should have called and confirmed the museum was open before reporting its closure and that Egyptians are proud of their cultural heritage.

The closure rumors come as protesters stage a sit-in at the Mugamma administrative office, just south of the museum, which has prevented employees from entering the building for three days.

The Egyptian Museum was targeted by looters during the January 2011 uprising, which toppled Egypt’s former regime.

A prominent tourist destination, the Egyptian Museum was built in 1900 and is home to more than 12,000 artifacts ranging from Egypt's pharaonic times to its Greco-Roman periods.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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