Egyptian sites to reopen
After a meeting with other members of the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs, and the Antiquities and Tourism Police to discuss security measures, we concluded that all of the Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, and modern sites would reopen to the public on Sunday, 20 February, 2011. It is my hope that tourists from around the world will soon return to Egypt.
I am very sad to announce that several important antiquities sites have been vandalized. After a preliminary inventory had been taken, Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector of the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs, reported to me the following incidents: At Saqqara, the tomb of Hetepka was broken into, and the false door may have been stolen along with objects stored in the tomb. I have arranged for a committee to visit the tomb this coming Saturday to compare the alleged damage with earlier expedition photos. In Abusir, a portion of the false door was stolen from the tomb of Rahotep. In addition, break-ins have been confirmed at a number of storage magazines: these include ones in Saqqara, including one near the pyramid of Teti, and the magazine of Cairo University. I have created a committee to prepare reports to determine what, if anything, is missing from these magazines. The Egyptian Military caught and released thieves attempting to loot the site of Tell el Basta; the military also caught criminals trying to loot a tomb in Lisht. There have also been many reports of attacks on archaeological sites through the building of houses and illegal digging. I have asked the sector heads in the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs to prepare full reports for each site under their jurisdiction.
Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955
Posted by: Shaimaa Ahmed