The ArtDaily reported that Egyptian army units secured the Cairo Museum, which houses priceless cultural heritage against looting. However, rebels were able to break into the museum on Sunday, January 30, 2011 and destroy some of the cultural objects, including about ten small statuettes and two mummies.
The Telegraph quoted Dr Zahi Hawass, the director of the museum, as saying “Demonstrators in collaboration with security forces stopped the thieves and returned the relics to the museum – but they were already damaged. Only their heads were intact.”
It remains to be seen whether the work of the vandals was being directed by a dealer. According to some commentators reflecting on the looting of the Iraqi Museum in 2003, most major museums in the world, such as the Cairo Museum with their vast treasures, have “WANTED” items that may fall prey to mercenary looters during times of political unrest such as the one Egypt is experiencing currently.
CNN reported that to avoid the unpardonable looting of the Iraqi museum, many activists, including a well-known Egyptian film director Khaled Youssef had called on the army to ensure the museum was protected.