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Theft and Sprawl Threaten Egypt’s Heritage

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


DAHSHUR, EGYPT—Well-organized and well-armed gangs of thieves reportedly continue to plunder Egypt’s archaeological sites, while illegal construction encroaches upon them and sometimes even covers them. “Under Mubarak, (the pyramids) were seen as a revenue stream for tourism, and a point of pride. This government just doesn’t care,” said archaeologist Monica Hanna. Kamal Wahid of Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry says that the reports of damage are exaggerated, and counters that the new government simply lacks the resources to protect archaeological sites because of the steep drop in foreign tourism.