UPDATE ON EGYPTIAN MUSEUM LOOTINGFebruary 7, 2011
Well, it's now "official" according to the following article; Egypt's National Museum was apparently looted by its own security guards:
This lies in the background of President Mubarak's appointment of Egypt's antiquities Tsar, Zahi Hawass, to a cabinet level post. Given Hawass' own background and connections to the western elites, this is not a surprising move, but it is one that subtly implies that elite's interest in Egyptian antiquities.
The specter of the National Museum's own security guards being involved in its looting raises the disturbing parallel to the Baghdad Museum looting in the wake of the American and British invasion of Iraq. When that story was first broken by the German media, it was reported that American troops were seen entering and leaving the museum. Later, the US Marine colonel who was appointed to recover the stolen art works, indicated that it was his suspicion that the Iraqi museum looting was "an inside job" as well.
This led to a round of speculation on the internet as to who was responsible, and yours truly joined in on the speculations. Typically, the speculation in the main ran to the view that the "omnicompetent, omniscient, and omnipotent" Anglo-American elite had staged the looting. I wasn't so sure, and pointed out other possibilities originating in Paris and Berlin.
With the Egyptian lootings, things are a bit different. For one thing, no one has invaded Egypt, so it becomes more difficult to discern any hidden players, if indeed any were actually involved. However, Mubarak's appointment of Hawass to a cabinet level position during the crisis is indicator enough that there is a hidden influence originating with the western elite, and elite no doubt concerned to protect Egypt's antiquities, and rightly so.
But that appointment itself suggests in turn, that if there is a hidden hand or hands in the museum lootings in Egypt, that three possibilities arise: (1) the elite appointed Hawass to cover their own tracks and possible involvement in the lootings, or (2) that someone else entirely was involved, and Hawass' appointment pre-signals an effort to find the culprits and recover the missing items, or (3) both the western elites and someone else were involved, in which case Hawass' appointment signals the desire to cover-up their own involvement, recover the other missing items, and fasten the blame on someone else.
Of course, all this right now is pure speculation, but the fact that Egypt now joins Iraq in having its priceless antiquities looted to my mind raises the possibility that we're looking at hidden hands once again. All it would take, at this juncture, to convince me that we're looking at an "antiquities war", with some hidden group or groups running around the world and stealing (i.e., collecting) antiquities, would be if similar occurrences suddenly started to happen in, say, Iran, or India, or Indochina, or South America... If that were to happen, we're no longer looking at coincidence, in my opinion, but something else.
And while we're talking about this, such a scenario of "antiquities collecting" fits a well-known historical pattern, one established very firmly by - you guessed it - the Nazis and their nutty "ancestral research bureau," the Ahnenerbe.