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Luxor Times: 08-Mar-2011

Luxor Times

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

An unemployed was arrested in Cairo for illegal dig for antiquities

It started when someone filed a report that a relative was missing for 5 days, investigations revealed that the arrested called Shehta Ali and he convinced two of his friends to dig under one of the old houses in the area looking for antiquities taking advantage of the security chaos and the absence of police. Three of them were digging for two days and on the third day after they reached 10 meters deep, the shaft collapsed while one of them was down there so the other two ran away then they went back to the scene to hide the fill the shaft without taking the body out.

The Armed Forces abort an attempt to smuggle antiquities

5th March

At the check point in the entrance of Hurghada, two persons tried to turn around and run away so the Army officer chased and stopped them before he searched their car where he found a Pharaonic statue of a woman sitting on the throne covered in dust in sack.
The two are from Luxor. Mohammed Mahmoud EL Maghrabi, 25 years old, works in a Bazaar and the other is Husseim Mohammed Ibrahim,45 years old, works as a doorman near the Sheraton.
They were on the way to sell the statue to a foreigner in Hurghada. The car was confiscated and the statue has been sent to the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Both of the smugglers are expected to attend a military trial.

More sites attacked

Others site like Tanis in Sharkia governorate (Nile Delta),Al Mahmodiya in Al Behira governorate and Borg Al Arab in Alexandria were attacked by the local people who built on the sites. In Cairo, thugs broke into Kléber’s tower (General Kléber was appointed by Napoleon as commander in chief in Egypt after Bonaparte) in Gamaliya and turned it to a hideyhole or lair for drug dealing.

2 hours fire destroys rare plants of Egypt' smallest natural preserve

5th March

The fire department in Aswan managed to control a huge fire on one of the Nile islands near Saluge and Ghazal natural preserve where the fire burnt a large number of rare trees and plants.
The fire lasted for nearly 2 hours and Aswan Persecutor is investigating the causes.

Forged tickets worth 5 million pounds!!!

On 2nd March, the head of the Egyptian Museum security found out there are many visitors to the museum using forged tickets. He sent the tickets to the police who called for the Antiquities authority experts.
The report stated there are 5 million Egyptian pounds worth of forged tickets that were used in Edfu, citadel and other sites but the surprise was those tickets were bought from the bulk ticket office at the SCA and it has been on sale for 4 years with a price range 50 to 80 L.E
Later, many travel companies filed reports stating that they bought a large number of tickets for their customers from the same ticket office. The Public Funds Persecutor is working on the case at the moment.
In the couple of days after that thousands of the forged tickets were found in Luxor and Aswan in the possession of tour guides working for companies which bought bulk tickets from the Supreme council of Antiquities.

Antiquities storehouse attacked

We wold like to apologise for our readers as we were offline for a few days. We will have to catch up with the news from the past few days.
5th March

40 armed men attacked antiquities storage of Tal El Faraeen in Kafr El Shiekh governorate (Nile Delta) and when the guards tried to stop them they got seriously injured by the armed men who fired at the guards.

It is the second time the same magazine was attacked since 25th January in the absence of the police.
The head of the central administration of Lower Egypt and the Nile Delta said “The armed men managed to break the storage doors, broke a number of boxes containing antiquities. The guards and inspectors managed to capture some of them but the others ran away.” He also referred that a committee is being formed to determine what objects were lost. He doesn’t exclude the possibility that there is an international organization taking advantage of the security chaos in Egypt with the help of some antiquities dealers to steal the antiquities especially that the sites and museums attacked on a daily basis by armed men in big groups.
He mentioned also that there are plans to relocate artifacts that represent a target for looting and transfer them to more secure sites.