Sunday, September 25, 2016


THE Mallawi Museum, only a few miles from Antinoopolis in Egypt, reopened this week after being ransacked by looters three years ago. 

Most of the museum's 1,000-piece collection has also been recovered from looters and is back on display following a $1 million renovation.

The museum was ransacked in August 2013 during a period of violence in the country following the ousting of the former president Mohamed Morsi. 

The looters shot one member of the museum staff dead and stole almost all of the artefacts on display. Other items, too large to remove, were vandalised, destroyed or burned.

The objects stolen predominantly date to the Graeco-Roman Period and included jewellery, shabti figurines depicting workers in the afterlife, statues of the gods Osiris, Isis, Hathor and Thoth, pottery, papyri, gold coins and wooden coffins.

Shortly after the attack, a Red List of the looted artefacts was distributed by Unesco in Arabic and English.

Over the following years, the vast majority of these artefacts were recovered. 

A limestone statue of ANKHESENAMUN, Tutankhamun's wife, was seized in December 2013, after officials traced it to a bazaar in Cairo.

Meanwhile, a man was arrested in Giza after he tried to sell 13 artefacts taken from the museum. 

Many of the objects were returned by local people after Egyptian authorities promised a small reward and that no criminal charges would be brought against them.

The Mallawi National Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, adjacent to Antinoopolis, was severly damaged and looted by rioters as part of deadly clashes that erupted across the country.

Afterwards, police and volunteers managed to gather together the artefacts that had not been stolen and transferred them to a secure vault at nearby Al-Ashmunein ... ancient Hermopolis (called Shmunu by the Ancient Egyptians).

Hermopolis was the last city that Antinous saw before his death in October 130 AD. He died at a bend in the Nile a short distance from Hermopolis ... and that was where Antinoopolis was founded.

There has also been widespread blatant LOOTING AT ANTINOOPOLIS in recent years. 

The entire Assyut/Minya area is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism. 

Ironically, the area has always been a region of religious fervor, dating back to Antinoopolis ... and even further back to the 18th Dynasty when "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten founded his capital city Akhetaten a few miles south of the site where Antinous would plunge into the Nile and his sacred city would be founded in the year 130 AD.

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