Cairo: Egypt`s famous Malawi National Museum has been damaged and looted by rioters during the countrywide clashes this week that left more than 600 people dead and thousands injured.
The museum, in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, was allegedly broken into and some artifacts were damaged and stolen, Ahram online reported quoting a statement from the Ministry of Antiquities.
According to the statement, supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi announced a sit-in in the museum`s garden and then took down the building`s internal gate and broke into its halls, damaging surveillance cameras and stealing some of its treasured artefacts.
"It is a great loss and I am really saddened by what has happened to such a museum," Minister of State of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said.
He said an archaeological committee is inspecting the site with the aim of providing a list of the missing objects to send to the prosecutor-general pending an investigation.
Ibrahim said the list will be distributed to all Egyptian ports to prevent any smuggling attempts.
On Wednesday, Egypt witnessed nationwide violence that left at least 638 people dead and thousands injured after security forces cleared sit-ins by supporters of Morsi at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo`s Nasr City district and Al-Nahda Square in Giza.