Bay Area antiquities experts fear Egyptian looters took massive toll on treasures
As Bay Area-based antiquities researchers and museum curators piece together news coming out of Egypt, many are becoming increasingly alarmed about what may have been stolen during the heavy looting over the weekend, calling thefts of ancient treasures a “loss to humanity.”
“Damage to or theft of these pieces is not just tragic for Egypt, but for the whole world,” said Renee Dreyfus, curator of antiquities for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which hosted the traveling Tutankhamun exhibit at the M.H. de Young Museum in 2009.
Dreyfus had just been at the Egyptian National Museum last week, shortly before the demonstrations started.
“These things are part of our world heritage, where much of what we consider the civilized world began,” she said. “They are part of everyone’s history.”
“It is the equivalent of bombing a museum in wartime,” said Professor Linda Ellis, director of the museum studies program at San Francisco State University, who has been watching in anguish as more detailed reports of thefts at museums and storage facilities outside of Cairo mount.
“These things will be sold immediately on the black market,” she said. “They’ll be gone from the public forever.”
Bay Area antiquities experts fear Egyptian looters took massive toll on treasures – San Jose Mercury News.