It has been reported as published by the Washington Post (and the Denver Post), that the government of Egypt sees the fight against the illegal sales of antiquities and looting a major national emergency.
In March, Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, Egypt’s minister of state for antiquities was in WashingtonDC talking with Obama administration. He stated that the looting worries the experts. “The objects that are stolen from museums are easier to track because they are registered,” Ibrahim said, referring to the archaeological artifacts taken from Egypt’s MalawiNationalMuseum and EgyptianMuseum in Cairo, many of which have been identified and returned. However, a bigger problem now has become the illicit digging everywhere spanning acres of land, which is also the work of sophisticated traffickers.
As we have discussed here at WCHV, looting isn’t a new phenomenon, but as countries face conflict, looting adds to many more problems that the country face. Today, more than three years since the Egyptian revolution, looting antiquities is a major concern for a country that is so dependent on tourism. In the last decade, many factors including higher antiquities prices and easier transport across the world has made looting a profitable option for many smugglers and thieves.