Seized Antiquities at Egyptian Ports Exibition (1986-2016)

UNESCO workshop

Presentation by Mr Ali Ahmed, UNESCO workshop in Cairo, April 2014 © UNESCO/S.Delepierre

Warning: Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo is damaged

Damage to Museum of Islamic Art, in central Cairo, Egypt © Matjaz Kacicnik

4 February 2014 - A UNESCO emergency mission to launch rehabilitation of the Islamic Arts Museum of Cairo

Photo gallery of the damage to the Museum

30 January 2014 - Newly UNESCO trained Egyptian heritage rescue team intervenes rapidly at the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo

24 January 2014 - UNESCO Director-General Condemns Destruction to the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, Egypt
The Museum of Islamic Art, which also houses the Archive Museum of the National Library at Bab el Khalq, suffered major collateral damage following an attack on the nearby security headquarters.

Warning: looting of Mallawi National Museum

UNESCO damage assessment mission of Mallawi Museum in Egypt © UNESCO/Lablaude

31 October 2014the Egyptian authorities have successfully recovered  nearly 950 out of 1089 objects recorded in the inventory of the Malawi National Museum, in the Upper Egypt city of Minya.

11 to 16 September 2013 - the Director-General sent a mission of UNESCO experts to Egypt, who confirmed the looting and devastation suffered by the Mallawi National Museum.

Photo-gallery of the damage assessment mission of Mallawi National Museum in Egypt

August 2013 - UNESCO receives a report  that the Mallawi National Museum has been looted and suffered extensive damage from the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities. Thieves broke into the Mallawi Museum, burning and destroying 48 artifacts and stealing 1041 objects, including coins, jewels and statues dating from the beginning of the Egyptian history to the Islamic period. A few days later, the UNESCO Director-General publicly deplored the damage to cultural property in Egypt.

Inventory of the Mallawi National Museum in Egypt:

Assessment of Situation in Egypt

Cairo Museum (March 2011) © INTERPOL

3 to 13 May 2011 - UNESCO sent two experts, including a representative from Interpol, to assess the security measures taken to protect Egyptian museums, as well as archaeological sites in the country. The experts also provided advice on enhanced security measures to better protect the museums from being looted and sites from being illegally excavated in order to minimize the risks of illicit trafficking of Egyptian cultural property.

Cairo Museum staff carrying out inventory of collections (March 2011) © INTERPOL

This mission was also an opportunity to collect information on cultural objects that have gone missing since the start of the revolution through meeting with Egyptian authorities and sites' visits. The stolen objects are included in Interpol Works of Art database.

21 to 25 March 2011 - UNESCO, with the assistance of its partner ICOM, sent a group of experts to Cairo. The special mission's objectives was to assess the needs of the Museum sector and to establish contact with the Egyptian authorities in order to continue the work on the protection of Egyptian cultural heritage.

Mobilization of experts and civil society

16 March 2011 - an emergency technical meeting presided by the UNESCO Director-General, was held at UNESCO Headquarters. The theme of the meeting was on the protection of cultural heritage in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

UNESCO helped mobilize the civilian population during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The important role of the community in protecting cultural heritage during a time of social upheaval was highlighted by their determination in protecting Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and other sites of cultural significance across the country. Nevertheless, despite their efforts, many objects were looted, shedding light on the need to continue to strengthen community awareness on protecting and respecting cultural heritage.


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