HAWASS ON EGYPTIAN LOOTINGS
Dr. Zahi Hawass posted the following article on his blogsite on March 3, 2011, concerning the looting of Egyptian antiquities:
The Status of Egyptian Antiquities, Today, March 3, 2011
When reading this report, one can only be saddened at the sheer extent of what Dr. Hawass reported concerning the lootings. Notably, Hawass maintains that some of the items were recovered, but as the report of March 3 made clear, Hawass himself was, at that time, still awaiting a fuller inventory from other departments of the government as to what had gone missing.
What I find particularly disturbing - and thought-provoking - are Hawass' statements that "inscribed blocks" were taken from sites in Saqqara and Abusir, and that tombs at Giza itself were broken into. One wonders just exactly what was inscribed on those blocks, and if they had ever been translated and made publicly available. Hawass does not comment on this, but it is an important point for the following reason. If the blocks had been translated and made publicly available, one can reasonably surmise that that their theft was for nothing more than monetary gain, pure and simple.
But if they had not been translated and made publicly available, then it is possible that another motivation entirely lay behind their theft, namely, someone wanted to know something.
What disturbs one here is the lack of detailed reporting, and hence, the lack of any solid basis on which to interpret the lootings and to speculate on the motivations and possible suspects. We are given little, in other words, to solve the crime. I cannot help but be reminded, in this respect, of the Baghdad Museum lootings, for to this day, I suspect we have not been told everything about that dismal affair either.
The recent rumors of Hawass' resignation, and the confusion reigning in that country during its transitional phase, make one wonder if indeed somehow Egypt's antiquities might not have been a primary factor behind it all.
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When we first invaded Iraq I remember hearing, on the news, that the museums had been “cleaned out” (I remember that term. It struck me as sort of dramatic for the piece reported in) and there was billions in gold missing. Of course at the time the blame fell squarely on Saddam but when they found him it didn’t look to me like he had been around any gold or plan to steal artifacts. I know looks don’t tell you much but if you can find the video of his capture it seems to stand out even more that it was himself he was interested in saving, not a cache of riches. Someone, somewhere knows what some, maybe most of of those artifacts had, said, meant, were worth. Not monetarily but culturally and scientifically. And, to my knowledge I don’t think any of the artifacts have turned up anywhere and the only gold I’ve heard about recently was the vatican. (Before I read that I had no idea that much gold was held by them!) I’m not trying to imply any sort of connection. I mean only establish how many times gold had been in the news since the Iraq war. I am quite sure if there was any selling of artifacts or acquiring large quantities of gold someone, somewhere would have leaked it. Humans are notorious for not keeping secrets if they’ve nothing to lose. Where have all the gold and relics gone? I can’t even begin to comprehend who, I can imagine why.
It makes me wonder about the looting that took place in Baghdad as well of museums.