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Egyptian Art Under Siege

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When I went to Egypt in 1993 it was truly the trip of a lifetime. As an artist who also loves mythology, I was in heaven in a place like Egypt. What I didn’t realize until I got there, was how far the most famous sites were from one another—The Pyramids, Abu Simbel, Karnak, King Tut’s tomb. We saw it all.

Relief sculpture at Abydos
Relief sculpture at Abydos

One of the highlights of our trip, after we had cruised up the Nile, was our return to Cairo and a visit to the Egyptian Museum to see King Tut and all of the beautiful objects that had once resided in the empty tombs and temples we had spent the last ten days exploring.
Ozymandias?
Sitting at the foot of Ozmandias

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Which is why it is so hard to look at the images coming out of Egypt over the last 24 hours. Mummies defiled, exhibit cases shattered. This is not the way to protest President Mubarak’s policies and government. Egypt and its treasures have a long history of being ransacked, mostly by Egyptians themselves. It is a shame the tradition is being continued with this latest attack on its culture coming from within.

More photos of the looted Egyptian Museum at Hyperallergic
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