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Egypt Says Antiquities in ‘Grave Danger’ From Looters

March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s antiquities are in “grave danger” from looters following the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak last month, Zahi Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, said in his blog.

“When the revolution began on Jan. 25 and through its first week, there were only a few reports of looting,” he said. “However, since Mubarak’s resignation, looting has increased all over the country and our antiquities are in grave danger from criminals trying to take advantage of the current situation.”

Four items out of 18 that were stolen from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo on Jan. 28 have been recovered, Hawass said. The statue of the Pharaoh Akhenaten as an offering bearer was discovered by a protester near the southern wall of the museum and his family contacted the ministry to have it returned, he said.

Across Egypt, storage magazines have been broken into including that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s expedition in Dahshur, which was attacked twice by looters who overpowered guards and tied them up, Hawass said.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Mahmoud Kassem at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Riad Hamade at rhamade@bloomberg.net

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