Fires burn in the National Democratic Party ruling party headquarters, after it was set alight by anti-government protesters, in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) (AP)

Egypt's military secures famed antiquities museum

To prevent looters from getting inside, citizens form a human chain around the home of King Tut's gold mask


Maggie MichaelDiaa Hadid
January 29, 2011 6:26AM (UTC)

The Egyptian army secured Cairo's famed antiquities museum early Saturday, protecting treasures including the famed gold mask of King Tutankhamun from looters.

The greatest threat to the Egyptian Museum first appeared to come from the fire enguling the ruling party headquarters next door on Friday night as anti-government protests roiled the country.

Advertisement:

Then dozens of would-be thieves started entering the grounds surrounding the museum.

Suddenly other young men -- some armed with truncheons taken from the police -- formed a human chain outside the main gates on Tahrir Square in an attempt to protect the collection inside.

"I'm standing here to defend and to protect our national treasure," said one of the men, Farid Saad, a 40-year-old engineer.

Another man, 26-year-old Ahmed Ibrahim, said it was important to guard the museum because it "has 5,000 years of our history. If they steal it, we'll never find it again."

Finally, four armored vehicles took up posts outside the massive coral-colored building in downtown Cairo. Soldiers surrounded the building and moved inside to protect mummies, monumental stone statues, ornate royal jewelry and other pharaonic artifacts.

 

Advertisement:

Maggie Michael

MORE FROM Maggie Michael

Diaa Hadid

MORE FROM Diaa Hadid

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Egyptian Protests

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •