Monday, September 23, 2013


EXTRA Egyptian security forces are heading to el-Minya and the Antinoopolis area after the riot-ridden nation's antiquities minister received a letter from Islamic radicals threatening to loot and burn the world-renowned Oxyrhynchus archaeological galleries.

Hadrian and Antinous OXYRHYNCHUS visited during their fateful tour of Egypt in 130 AD, just days before Antinous died at a spot on the Nile where the city of Antinoopolis was founded.

Looting has been occurring off and on for more than a year at Antinoopolis and the modern-day priests of Antinous have spear-headed an ongoing worldwide campaign to STOP THE LOOTING.

Just last month 1,200 irreplaceable exhibits were destroyed or stolen when a mob ransacked a museum at MALAWI just south of Antinoopolis.

Now, the military and police have sent additional security forces to archaeological sites and galleries in the Upper Egypt city of Minya near the ruins of Antinoopolis to help guards of the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) protect the city's heritage.

The additional security personnel travelled to Minya at the request of Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim, who received a letter from an unknown person threatening to set fire to archaeological galleries and to loot its treasured artefacts  at Al-Bahnasa, the modern name for Oxyrhynchus.

The galleries house a large collection of ancient Egyptian objects that were discovered at Oxyrhynchus, which is famous for its priceless library of ancient documents. 

The gallieries also house artefacts from Antinoopolis and Amarna, the fabled city of the "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Al-Bahnasa is a few kilometers north of Antinoopolis. In ancient Egypt, its name was Pr-Medjed, derived from the name of a fish that was thought to have swallowed the severed penis of the god Osiris after his brother Seth murdered Osiris and dismembered his body.

During Greek times, it was known as Oxyrhynchus. It is considered one of Minya's largest archeological sites where more than 100,000 papyri fragments were found, most of them now at the Sackler Library in Oxford.

Ibrahim said that security measures were being tightened in every archaeological site, museums and gallery all over the country, in order to protect them from encroachment or attempts at looting during the current period of political turmoil.

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