Ministry complains about artifact robberies

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities today complained about a series of artifact thefts in various parts of the country.

Its statement cited an incident last week in which 35 armed men broke into an artifact storehouse in Kafr al-Sheikh, opened five boxes and broke three storehouse doors. The gang tied up the guards and took their weapons, but residents managed to arrest four, who were referred to Public Prosecution.

The statement also mentioned the building of a house by Sharqiya residents on land where excavations were being carried out. Heritage sites in Beheira and Alexandria have been similarly encroached upon.

The Union of Arab Archaeologists yesterday called on Egypt's caretaker government to rescue the country’s monuments and artifacts. In a statement, the union–which has more than 3000 Arab archaeologists as members–called for an urgent board meeting to discuss ways to protect Egyptian monuments.

The statement said it is putting all its resources at the disposal of Egypt's government in order to prevent the loss of its heritage.

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