Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

No mummies damaged during break-ins, Egypt's top archaeologist says

Egyptian special forces secure the main floor inside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011.

Tara Todras-Whitehill/Tara Todras-Whitehill/Associated Press

None of the mummies in Cairo's main archaeological museum were damaged during a break-in last week but 70 other exhibits will need restoration, top Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said on Sunday.

Media reports during Egypt's political unrest had quoted Mr. Hawass as saying that looters damaged two mummies, but in a BBC interview on Sunday he said that this was not the case.

"They were not mummies, there were two skulls taken outside from the CT scan machine. Everything will go back to normal at Cairo Museum today," said Mr. Hawass, head of Egypt's antiquities authority since 2002. He was made a cabinet minister last week.

Story continues below advertisement

On his own website, Mr. Hawass said the 70 broken antiquities included a statue of the boy pharaoh King Tutankhamun on a panther and some later objects, all of which can be restored.

Egypt's pharaonic remains are a key part of its tourism industry, and the unrest in Cairo had raised fears that the country could suffer the same loss of cultural heritage as occurred in Iraq in 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Egypt's cultural treasures are now secure, Mr. Hawass said. "The Valley of the Kings is safe, the pyramids are safe, 24 museums are safe, the synagogues and the monasteries and the Muslim monuments are completely safe," he said.

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.