Four stolen statues including two taken from the Cairo’s Museum have been recovered by police. These were all looted when rioting broke out during the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo. The looters smashed vitrines,damaging statues and mummies.The robbery took place while police attempted to quell the violent protests which erupted on the streets. The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Ancient Egyptian treasures, including the priceless collection of King Tutankhamen. At the time of the heist, reports told of several broken statues and ceramic figures laying on the floors of the museum and information details the distrustion of irreplacable Tutankhamen furniture. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s top archaeologist told state television that the looters had entered from above and broken through doors. It was also reported that the thieves entered the gift shop and stole souvenirs thinking they were the genuine articles. Police have returned the statuettes to Egypt’s antiquities ministry, and a committee of archaeologists appointed by antiquities minister Zahi Hawass is now trying to establish which museums or archaeological sites the other two stolen statuettes came from so they can be returned.
The two figures were among several items that went missing in Cairo. The other two works were apparently stolen from another archaeological site. There were several incidents of looting in January reported, mostly concerning museums and archaeological sites across the country. The extent of the thefts remain unclear. The statues dating from 664 BC are fashioned in gilt bronze and depict the god of the after life Osiris and Harpocrates (Horus the younger).
The most important piece to be returned so far was from the tomb of King Tutankhamun. The figure was part of a statue of the King standing in a boat throwing a harpoon. The statue was broken off the boat which remained in the museum, it has now been reunited with the missing piece. King Tut returned without part of his crown and pieces of his legs, but the museum plans to restore the damages.Hawass also revealed that a special police force will be deployed to protect Egypt’s archaeological sites and museums following the recent wave of vandalism and looting.From 54 of the objects missing from the museum, 23 have now been recovered.