National Egyptian Museum

National Egyptian Museum

5 recovered items

On 15th March, the SCA released an official list of over 60 missing items. Twelve items have been recovered from this list in mid March and 5 more at the end of March, which are shown in the photo, whose recovery was described by Dr Hawass.  These items are catalogued in this SCA list which has details of their conservation status. (Items recovered shortly afer the break in are not shown in this SCA list.)  Three of the Tutankhamun objects and a Yuya shabti were recovered in early April.

On 2nd May, the recovery of a further further four bronze statues was announced, two from the list of items missing from Egyptian Museum and two presently unidentified.

The outstanding list is as follows, which has been re-issued as an SCA document with improved photographs and inventory details (version: 28th March 2011):

01. JE 60710.1 Gilded Wooden Figure of Tutankhamun on a Skiff, Throwing a Harpoon: Figure (recovered, parts of one leg missing, damage to crown)
02. JE 60713 Gilded Wood Statue of Tutankhamun Wearing the Red Crown
03. JE 60716.1 Gilded Wooden Statue of Menkaret Carrying a Mummified Tutankhamun: Statue ofTutankhamun
04. JE 62006 Gilded Wood Fanstock (recovered – one face shattered, pieces missing)
05. JE 62008 Gilded Bronze Trumpet with Painted Wooden Core (recovered)
06. JE 26083 Wooden Model Vase(located within museum)
07. JE 31720 Terracotta Plaque in the Form of a Bed (located within museum)
08. CG 38530 Bronze Seated Statue of Anubis (recovered)
09. CG 38998 Bronze Seated Statue of Bastet (recovered)
10. JE 77 Bronze Striding Statue of the God Hapi (recoverd)
11. JE 658 Bronze Top of a Scepter in the Shape of the Goddess Hat-Mehit Wearing a Fish Headdress (Lates Nilotica) (recovered)
12. JE 9080 Bronze Striding Statue of Onuris
13. JE 17914 Bronze Seated Statue of Osiris (recovered)
14. JE 18020 Schist Striding Statue of Neferhotep (recovered)
15. JE 22040 Bronze Standing Statue of Osiris (recovered in May)
16. JE 22196 Bronze Fish on a Stand (recovered)
17. JE 27324 Limestone Statue of a Recumbent Bull (recovered)
18. JE 29868 Bronze Standing Statue of Sobek in the form of a Crocodile-headed Man (recovered)
19. JE 30324 Bronze Striding Statue of the Goddess Neith
20. JE 36598 Inscribed Bronze Seated Statue of a Cat (Bastet) Dedicated by Padiamen (?? recovered?? – see below)
21. JE 67925 Inscribed Bronze Striding Statue of Harpocrates Wearing the Andjety Diadem (recovered)
22. JE 91488 Inscribed Bronze Sceptre of Ankhusiri (recovered)
23. TR Bronze Statue of an Apis Bull Wearing the Sun Disk and Uraeus (recovered – broken into 6 pieces)
24. TR Bronze False Beard
25. TR Bronze False Beard
26. JE 68995 Plastered Wooden Shabti of Tjuya Covered with Silver Leaf, Incised with Nine Lines of Inscription
27. JE 68984 Wooden Shabti of Yuya with Ten Lines of Inscription in Yellow (still missing, despite reports of recovery)
28. JE 68989 Painted and Gilded Wooden Shabti of Yuya with Seven Lines of Incised Inscription
29. JE 68998 Plastered and Gilded Wooden Shabti of Tjuya with Nine Lines of Incised Inscription
30. JE 68982 Wooden Shabti of Yuya with Eleven Lines of Inscription in Yellow (recovered)
31. JE 68983 Wooden Shabti of Yuya with Nine Lines of Incised Inscription in Yellow
32. JE 68987 Wooden Shabti of Yuya with Nine Lines of Incised Inscription in Blue
33. JE 68994 Uninscribed Calcite Shabti of Yuya
34. JE 68992 Ebony Shabti of Yuya with Seven Lines of Inscription in Yellow
35. JE 68993 Painted Wooden Shabti of Yuya with Two Vertical Columns of Incised Blue Inscription
36. JE 44867 Unfinished Limestone Statue of Nefertiti as an Offering Bearer
37. JE 44874 Red Granite Striding Statue of an Amarna Princess
38. JE 65040 Quartzite Head of an Amarna Princess
39. JE 53250 Steatite Statue of Bes on a Calcite Base
40. JE 44873 Quartzite Statue of an Amarna Princess
41. JE 59291 Steatite Statue of a Scribe with Thoth as a Baboon on a Limestone Base
42. JE 52976 Painted Limestone Statue of a Seated Man
43. JE 29357 Bronze Statue of an Apis Bull with a Sun Disk Between its Horns
44. JE 30204 Striding Bronze Figure of Nakht
45. JE 39590 Painted Limestone Shabti of an Official
46. JE 45664 Faience Round Bead Bracelet (recovered)
47. JE 47906 Gold, Stone and Faience Collar
48. JE 47909 Faience Bead Collar with Pendants in the Shape of Lily (recovered)
49. JE 49104 String of 28 Coral Beads (recovered)
50. JE 49105 String of Gold Beads and Figurines (recovered)
51. JE 55175 Part of a Lapis Lazuli Girdle of Merytamun B
52. JE 58434 Necklace Composed of 44 Glass Beads Molded in Metal (recovered)
53. JE 94481 10 Faience Amulets and a Faience Bead
54. JE 27326 Painted Limestone Standing Statue of a Young Woman Wearing a Large Wig

It is difficult to compile this list as there are apparent discrepancies between the items reported to be discovered and those reported stolen.  For instance, Dr Hawass reported the recovery of shabti 68984 but it transpires it was wrongly identified and this shabti is still missing, but 68982 has been recovered.

Luxor Times Magazine and others announed on 17th March that 12 items were recovered in a police sting.  Some supposed photos of the recovered items have appeared, but these are not yet considered to be reliable.  The list is thought to include:

  • 5 bronze statues
  • 1 limestone statue
  • 1 statue of undetermined material
  • 1 gold necklace
  • 4 necklaces of faience and coloured glass

Youm 7 reports n late 2011 that the Bastet statue was recovered but there has been no official report.

I have retained earlier unofficial lists (below) for now as these have better photos for some items.  There also remains considerable concern about damage to items.  Various important items have been shown clearly to be damaged in various segments of TV coverage but no full report is has been published even a year later. Further photos can be found on Loot Busters.

Damage Report

On 3rd February, The Minister of State for Antiquities, Dr Hawass, released photos of a press tour to inspect the damage to artifacts in the break in overnight on 28th/29th January, including this one of the Tutankhamun exhibit rooms.   This tour should help to reassure that the damage to artifacts has not been materially under-reported.  Conservation is underway and is expected to be completed shortly.  The list of damaged artifacts emerged over the two weeks following the break in.  Initially the most authoritative source for the list of artefacts damaged has been Eloquent Peasant, maintained by Margaret Maitland.  National Geographic has also carried a montage of images.  This was supplemented on 6th February by a clarification from Dr Hawass.

However, on February 11, Dr Hawass posted a more complete summary of the damage on his personal blog. Together with the videos and photos gathered in Kate Phizackerley’s article on News from the Valley of the Kings, this offers the fullest list of damage, although the Hawass statement does not include some of the Tutankhamun objects identified by Maitland in her earlier article (linked above), notably the statue of King Tutankhamun in a skiff with a harpoon.

In summary:

  • 13 Late Period exhibition cases were opened.  Precise details are unknown but approximately 70 items were thrown on the floor (see the video below) so some damage but in total only 20 – 25 need restoration or repair.  The impression given by Dr Hawass is that the damage was mostly to shabtis and other smallish items.
  • The boat from the tomb of Mehseti at Asyut was damaged but looks to be readily repairable
  • One soldier from the tomb of Mehseti, Asyut was removed but seems to be intact
  • The statue of Tutankhamun riding a black panther was very badly damaged. It has been repaired but the joins in the photographs showing conservation were very visible.
  • Two walking sticks were broken and one golden fan was detached from its stave.  Again, both can be repaired.
  • The cartonnage from Tuya’s mummy lies on the floor and there was concern for her mummy.  However, it is believed that the cartonnage was displayed separately from her mummy, and the vitrine holding her mummy appears to be unopened. The damage to the cartonnage was limited to one figure of a god which was snapped, but this can be repaired.
  • One statue of King Akhenaten bearing an offering tray suffered minor damage.
  • Two mummies have been damaged.  After considerable Internet conjecture, these are now confirmed to be Late Period mummies (see separate page).  Additionally, the case containing one empty New Kingdom coffin was opened.  Although the coffin was opened, it sustained no damage.
  • Early reports suggested some jewelery had been stolen.  This has been denied by Dr Hawass.  The source of the original report could be that reproduction jewelery was stolen from the museum shop.   It is also known that those captured trying to escape the compound were carrying both wooden and brass statues. On 6th February, the Museum Director Tarek El Awady, confirmed that the Museum cannot yet confirm that nothing is missing: “Awady said it was still unclear if any looters escaped that night, and it will take more time to fully account for items in the museum to determine if anything is missing”.  On 11th February, Dr Hawass confirmed that he had requested an inventory to validate his belief / hope that nothing was missing from the collection.  As described above, some items were later acknowledged to have been stolen.

This is a contemporaneous interview from Dr Hawass explaining the intrusion:

Further reports of attempted break-ins were received on 31st January.  These were apparently repulsed by soldiers and the would-be looters arrested.   In all, four separate attempts to break in to the museum have been reported; only two were successful: on the same night that objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb were damaged, the museum gift shop was raided.


Archived Breaking News Section

I will tidy the page later, but wanted to get today’s news on quickly,

Breaking news 12th February

Dr Hawass has confirmed the following items were stolen from the Egyptian Museum (I have added inventory details as known):

Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess (Photo: Griffith Institute)

1.     Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess (tomb object number 296a) – fragments of the goddess portion retrieved, but the Tutankhamun figure is entirely missing still

2.     Gilded wood statue of Tutankhamun harpooning – only the torso and upper limbs of the king are missing.  (There were two similar figures found in the King’s tomb: objects 275c, 275e, and it is presently unknown which was stolen.)

3.     Retrieved (intact) on 16th February Limestone statue of Akhenaten holding an offering table (belived to be the statuette found by Borchardt at Tel-el Amarna IN 1911, Egyptian Museum number JE43580)

4.     Statue of Nefertiti making offerings

5.     Sandstone head of an Amarna princess

6.     Stone statuette of a scribe from Amarna

7.     Wooden shabti statuettes from Yuya (11 pieces) – one was retrieved 14th February (condition unknown); 10 are still missing

8.     Retrieved (condition unknown) on 14th February Heart Scarab of Yuya

Yuya’s heart scarab and one shabti were found outside the entrance to the museum gift shop on 14th February according to Ahram Online.

The best present catalogues of these missing items has been complied by the Penn Cultural Heritage Centre and includes photographs where available to the author.  (Some of the items are not fully defined by the Hawass announcement and greater clarity is sought, including inventory reference numbers and inventory photographs from the Egyptian Museum itself.  It is deeply disappointing that the Museum has not published these details in full.  Sandro Vannini photographed the Tutankhamun collection for the book King Tutankhamun, Treasures of the Tomb by Dr Hawass, and many other objects for Dr Hawass new book Highlights of the Egyptian Museum.  High quality colour photographs of most of the stolen items should be available to Dr Hawass.)

Last modified: January 31st, 2011

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