Egypt says major pieces looted from famed museum

Several ancient treasures were stolen from the Egyptian Museum, including a statue of King Tutankhamun, when looters broke in during the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, authorities said.

Updated: Feb 13, 2011, 20:57 PM IST

Cairo: Several ancient treasures were stolen
from the Egyptian Museum, including a statue of King
Tutankhamun, when looters broke in during the uprising that
toppled Hosni Mubarak, authorities said on Sunday.

The pieces include a gilded wooden statue showing the boy
pharaoh being carried by a goddess and parts of another statue
of him harpooning fish, minister of state for antiquities Zahi
Hawass said.

Looters broke into the museum in Cairo`s Tahrir Square on
January 28 when anti-Mubarak protesters drove his despised
police from the streets in a series of clashes and torched an
adjacent ruling party building.

Museum director Tarek al-Awadi said looters went on a
rampage, shattering 13 display cases and at least 70
artefacts. He added that curators were still carrying out an
inventory to determine the extent of the losses.

The missing pieces include a limestone statue of Pharaoh
Akhenaten holding an offering table, a statue of Queen
Nefertiti making offerings and a sandstone head of a princess
from Amarna, a vast archaeological site in central Egypt.

Also missing were a stone statuette of a scribe from
Amarna and 11 wooden shabti statuettes of Yuya, a powerful
courtier from the time of the 18th Dynasty, which ruled along
the banks of the Nile more than 3,000 years ago.

A heart scarab -- an amulet placed on the chest of the
mummy to ensure the heart was not removed -- belonging to Yuya
was also missing, Awadi added.

PTI