Kom el Hitan (Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III / Colossi of Memnon)
Two recently discovered statues, including a Skehmet head, were stolen from the on-site magazine at 3:30am on 19th March. There are pictures of these statues on Jane Akshar’s blog. The items were recovered by the Luxor police from a house on 20th March and arrests made.
(Other Facebook reports are suggesting that 15 items were stolen but this is probably a mis-translation from Arabic reports.)
The highly respected Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute of the Unversity of Chicago have been publishing regular updates from their project office in Luxor. On 8th February, the Director, W. Raymond Johnson, said that “Police presence on the antiquities sites is strong, with some Egyptian military as well,” and “There was no damage to or looting of any archaeological site in Luxor.”
On 2nd February, the Minister for Antiquities Dr Hawass said, “The temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo are also safe. ”
Looters tried to break into Karnak Temple over the weekend of 30th January, but were replused by locals, although reportedly the thugs were armed with guns. The protectors included Mr. Mansour Boraik, head of the Upper Egyptian Antiquities, and Mr. Ibrahim Soliman, head of the Karnak Temple. It has been suggested that the attack was aimed at the Karnak warehouse. No other reports of attempted looting are presently known. Luxor Temple and the Mummification Museum are guarded by soldiers: Miss Sanaa Aly, the Director of Luxor Museum, has confirmed its safety. Apparently the Mosques have been telling their worshippers to protect the monuments.
There has also been illegal digging on the West Bank, reported in a comment below. Daniel Jackson has kindly translated the orginal German report by saamunra:
In the area of birket habu people tried to digg but were discovered early and dealt with (but without police – whatever that means). There is not specific date reported.
In Kom es-Samak a man was digging illegaly at night and was discovered by the gafirs. Because there was no police anywhere they dealt with him on their own, beating him badly. Our member went there on march 9th to lokk for himself and counted about 10 holes at the souther side of Kom es-Samak. He thinks the man was in search for foundation deposits. I will try to get some pictures from the damage.
The police returned to the coptic monastry at westbank is to guard it. It seems to be ok.
According to Coptic source via Facebook, all Coptic churches in Upper Egypt are secure.
Scant attention has been paid to the workmans huts in the hills above the Valley of the Kings which have been used as a rubbish dump and allowed to deteriorate. Although Dr Hawass professed interest in the homes of ordinary workers which have been excavated in various Egyptian locales, in this case that has not apparently translated into protection of the site.