Monday, March 18, 2013
Egyptian Archaeological Sites Bulldozed and Looted
An Egyptian archaeologist has warned that Antinoupolis, one of the country’s largest archaeological sites, is being “destroyed systematically” by residents amid a complete failure from the government to protect the site.
Monica Hanna, a researcher with the University of Humboldt in Berlin, told Al-Masry-Al-Youm that she received information from archaeologists who work at the site of the ancient Roman Antinoupolis, also known as Sheikh Abada, saying the site faces grave danger.
Hanna said that the area near the Ramses II temple has been bulldozed and leveled. She added that the northwestern corner of the walled city had been bulldozed and for agricultural use. Read more
 
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Egyptian Archaeological Sites Bulldozed and Looted

An Egyptian archaeologist has warned that Antinoupolis, one of the country’s largest archaeological sites, is being “destroyed systematically” by residents amid a complete failure from the government to protect the site.

Monica Hanna, a researcher with the University of Humboldt in Berlin, told Al-Masry-Al-Youm that she received information from archaeologists who work at the site of the ancient Roman Antinoupolis, also known as Sheikh Abada, saying the site faces grave danger.

Hanna said that the area near the Ramses II temple has been bulldozed and leveled. She added that the northwestern corner of the walled city had been bulldozed and for agricultural use. Read more

 

For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Saturday, March 2, 2013
Cash-strapped Egypt Considers Offering Pyramids, Other Monuments for Rent
Egypt’s finance ministry sent a proposal to the country’s antiquities ministry to consider offering key monuments, including the pyramids, to international tourism firm as a quick solution to generate funds needed to overcome the financial crisis, an official has said.Rumors about the proposal, which some described as preposterous, have circulated online for weeks. But on Wednesday, Adel Abdel Sattar, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, in an interview with Egypt’s ONTV channel confirmed the existence of a proposal to offer Egypt’s monuments, including the pyramids in Giza, the Sphinx, the Abu Simbel Temple and the temples of Luxor, to international tourism firm.There have been reports that the rich Gulf state of Qatar, which strongly supported efforts to oust former president Hosni Mubarak from power, is interested in a deal to exploit Egypt’s most precious historical assets for a period of five years. The return for Egypt would be a substantial amount of money, estimated at $200 billion, enough to pay the country’s national debt and heal its economic woes for years if not decades to come. Read more
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Cash-strapped Egypt Considers Offering Pyramids, Other Monuments for Rent

Egypt’s finance ministry sent a proposal to the country’s antiquities ministry to consider offering key monuments, including the pyramids, to international tourism firm as a quick solution to generate funds needed to overcome the financial crisis, an official has said.

Rumors about the proposal, which some described as preposterous, have circulated online for weeks. 

But on Wednesday, Adel Abdel Sattar, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, in an interview with Egypt’s ONTV channel confirmed the existence of a proposal to offer Egypt’s monuments, including the pyramids in Giza, the Sphinx, the Abu Simbel Temple and the temples of Luxor, to international tourism firm.

There have been reports that the rich Gulf state of Qatar, which strongly supported efforts to oust former president Hosni Mubarak from power, is interested in a deal to exploit Egypt’s most precious historical assets for a period of five years. The return for Egypt would be a substantial amount of money, estimated at $200 billion, enough to pay the country’s national debt and heal its economic woes for years if not decades to come.
Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Burials Endanger Ancient Egyptian Cemetery

 In this more than 4,500-year-old pharaonic necropolis, Egypt’s modern rituals of the dead are starting to encroach on its ancient ones. Steamrollers flatten the desert sand, and trucks haul in bricks as villagers build rows of tombs in a new cemetery nearly up to the feet of Egypt’s first pyramids and one of its oldest temples.

The illegal expansion of a local cemetery has alarmed antiquities experts, who warn the construction endangers the ancient, largely unexplored complex of Dahshour, where pharaoh Sneferu experimented with the first true, smooth-sided pyramids that his son Khufu – better known as Cheops – later took to new heights at the more famous Giza Plateau nearby. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm 

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Systematic Ruin of Egypt’s Antiquities in Haram
Abandoned mansions may be a common sight in most Egyptian cities; when neighbourhoods fall into urban decay a 19-century mansion can be forgotten amongst towering monstrosities from the 50s and 60s.
But the house of Ispenian in the Haram area is not just any abandoned mansion. The beautiful mansion, which houses Mamluk and Ottoman artefacts, was recently found to have been looted. The structure itself has also been partially destroyed.
The place was built around 1935-36 by father and son Paul and Kevork Ispenian, and designed by French architect Joseph Aznavour. Read more 
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Systematic Ruin of Egypt’s Antiquities in Haram

Abandoned mansions may be a common sight in most Egyptian cities; when neighbourhoods fall into urban decay a 19-century mansion can be forgotten amongst towering monstrosities from the 50s and 60s.

But the house of Ispenian in the Haram area is not just any abandoned mansion. The beautiful mansion, which houses Mamluk and Ottoman artefacts, was recently found to have been looted. The structure itself has also been partially destroyed.

The place was built around 1935-36 by father and son Paul and Kevork Ispenian, and designed by French architect Joseph Aznavour. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Friday, December 7, 2012
Police Recover Ancient Egyptian Sphinx in Italy
An Egyptian granite sculpture of a sphinx that risked ending up on the black market for antiquities is destined instead for a Rome museum.
Italian Tax Police Maj. Massimo Rossi says the sphinx, perhaps as old as the 4th century B.C., was found on the outskirts of Rome last week. It was in a box hidden in a greenhouse near an ancient Etruscan necropolis.
Rossi said Thursday that the sphinx, which is roughly two feet tall and four feet long, likely adorned a 1st century B.C. Roman villa, in keeping with the fashion then for Egyptian sculpture as decoration.
He said an Italian and a Romanian are being investigated in the probe of suspected illicit trafficking in antiquities. Villa Giulia museum, which specializes in Etruscan antiquities, will host the sphinx. Read more
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Police Recover Ancient Egyptian Sphinx in Italy

An Egyptian granite sculpture of a sphinx that risked ending up on the black market for antiquities is destined instead for a Rome museum.

Italian Tax Police Maj. Massimo Rossi says the sphinx, perhaps as old as the 4th century B.C., was found on the outskirts of Rome last week. It was in a box hidden in a greenhouse near an ancient Etruscan necropolis.

Rossi said Thursday that the sphinx, which is roughly two feet tall and four feet long, likely adorned a 1st century B.C. Roman villa, in keeping with the fashion then for Egyptian sculpture as decoration.

He said an Italian and a Romanian are being investigated in the probe of suspected illicit trafficking in antiquities. Villa Giulia museum, which specializes in Etruscan antiquities, will host the sphinx. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
100 Years Later, Nefertiti Bust Still a Source of Controversy
A German archeologist, Ludwig Borchard, unearthed a 3,300-year-old painted stone bust of Nefertiti in southern Egypt 100 years ago on 6 Dec and carried it off to Germany. The centenary will turn up the volume on Egypt’s demands for its return, and for the repatriation of other priceless antiquities discovered by foreign collectors and shipped out of the country. 
Before he was fired by Egypt’s new government, Egyptian antiquities minister Zahi Hawass campaigned unsuccessfully for the return of the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum and for the bust of Nefertiti, the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, from Berlin’s Neues Museum. Balking museum directors argue that the treasures are safer where they are, an argument supported by the looting of antiquities during Egypt’s recent turmoil. Read more
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

100 Years Later, Nefertiti Bust Still a Source of Controversy

A German archeologist, Ludwig Borchard, unearthed a 3,300-year-old painted stone bust of Nefertiti in southern Egypt 100 years ago on 6 Dec and carried it off to Germany. The centenary will turn up the volume on Egypt’s demands for its return, and for the repatriation of other priceless antiquities discovered by foreign collectors and shipped out of the country.

Before he was fired by Egypt’s new government, Egyptian antiquities minister Zahi Hawass campaigned unsuccessfully for the return of the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum and for the bust of Nefertiti, the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, from Berlin’s Neues Museum. Balking museum directors argue that the treasures are safer where they are, an argument supported by the looting of antiquities during Egypt’s recent turmoil. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Egyptian Idol
In March 2001, Mullah Omar and the Afghan Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan, exploding the statues and reducing to rubble some of Afghanistan’s most important cultural relics. That act seemed to epitomize the cultural intolerance of the Taliban regime but also drew attention to the ways in which cultural heritage preservation has become used as a measure of civilized behavior of states in an era of global cosmopolitanism. 
For those concerned about the future of the world’s antiquities, this week another threat emerged on the horizon. In an interview with Egyptian Dream TV over the weekend, Salafist leader Murgan Salem al-Gohary called on Muslims to destroy the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx as a religiously mandated act of iconoclasm. “The idols and statutes that fill Egypt must be destroyed. Muslims are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues,” said Gohary, who claims to have participated in the destruction of Buddhas in Afghanistan and was arrested on several occasions under the Mubarak regime. Read more
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Egyptian Idol

In March 2001, Mullah Omar and the Afghan Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan, exploding the statues and reducing to rubble some of Afghanistan’s most important cultural relics. That act seemed to epitomize the cultural intolerance of the Taliban regime but also drew attention to the ways in which cultural heritage preservation has become used as a measure of civilized behavior of states in an era of global cosmopolitanism.

For those concerned about the future of the world’s antiquities, this week another threat emerged on the horizon. In an interview with Egyptian Dream TV over the weekend, Salafist leader Murgan Salem al-Gohary called on Muslims to destroy the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx as a religiously mandated act of iconoclasm. “The idols and statutes that fill Egypt must be destroyed. Muslims are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues,” said Gohary, who claims to have participated in the destruction of Buddhas in Afghanistan and was arrested on several occasions under the Mubarak regime. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Egyptian Islamist Calls for Destruction of Sphinx, Pyramids
A new threat has emerged in Egypt calling for the destruction of the Sphinx and other ancient structures.
Egyptian Salafist Murgan Salem al-Gohary, a Muslim jihadist leader, announced a jihad on television against the Sphinx.
"The idols and statues that fill Egypt must be destroyed. Muslims are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues," Gohary said in a Saturday night television interview, according to Al Arabiya News. ”God ordered Prophet Mohamed to destroy idols. When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”
This is the latest threat against the Egyptian monuments by Muslim extremists that started being reported a few months ago, according to the Inquisitr. Read more
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Egyptian Islamist Calls for Destruction of Sphinx, Pyramids

A new threat has emerged in Egypt calling for the destruction of the Sphinx and other ancient structures.

Egyptian Salafist Murgan Salem al-Gohary, a Muslim jihadist leader, announced a jihad on television against the Sphinx.

"The idols and statues that fill Egypt must be destroyed. Muslims are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues," Gohary said in a Saturday night television interview, according to Al Arabiya News. ”God ordered Prophet Mohamed to destroy idols. When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”

This is the latest threat against the Egyptian monuments by Muslim extremists that started being reported a few months ago, according to the Inquisitr. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Sunday, October 14, 2012
Egypt Reopens Pyramid, Hopes Tourists Return
When your country relies heavily on tourism and you lose more than a third of your visitors due to a political revolution, you’ve got to do something pretty dramatic to get them back. And if you’re Egypt, you reopen a pyramid.
On Thursday, Antiquities Minister Muhammad Ibrahim unveiled the revamped Pyramid of Chefren, along with six ancient tombs at Giza, that will reopen after a multi-year restoration project. Ibrahim said several other archeological sites are also slated to open across Egypt in the coming months…
The Arab Spring had a devastating effect on Egypt’s vital tourism industry, and Thursday’s event was meant, in part, to invite visitors back to the nation’s most famous archeological site. Tourism, which once accounted for 11.3 percent of GDP, plummeted by more than a third last year, and with sluggish reforms, continued protests and violent kidnappings in the Sinai Peninsula, 2012 hasn’t been much better. Read more
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Egypt Reopens Pyramid, Hopes Tourists Return

When your country relies heavily on tourism and you lose more than a third of your visitors due to a political revolution, you’ve got to do something pretty dramatic to get them back. And if you’re Egypt, you reopen a pyramid.

On Thursday, Antiquities Minister Muhammad Ibrahim unveiled the revamped Pyramid of Chefren, along with six ancient tombs at Giza, that will reopen after a multi-year restoration project. Ibrahim said several other archeological sites are also slated to open across Egypt in the coming months…

The Arab Spring had a devastating effect on Egypt’s vital tourism industry, and Thursday’s event was meant, in part, to invite visitors back to the nation’s most famous archeological site. Tourism, which once accounted for 11.3 percent of GDP, plummeted by more than a third last year, and with sluggish reforms, continued protests and violent kidnappings in the Sinai Peninsula, 2012 hasn’t been much better. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Monday, August 27, 2012
Egypt’s Istabl Anter Rescued
Serenity has returned to the rich Islamic site of Istabl Antar in Al-Fustat area in Old Cairo after almost a month of uproar and turmoil. Early this month an armed gang led by wealthy residents of the area invaded the four feddans wide archaeological site, covered the excavation area with sand and began to bulldoze it. 
The gang divided the land and distributed it among its members in parcels of approximately 800 square metres each. Every member surrounded his part with blocks of stones in order to separate it from the others and started to built mud brick houses. Read more
For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Egypt’s Istabl Anter Rescued

Serenity has returned to the rich Islamic site of Istabl Antar in Al-Fustat area in Old Cairo after almost a month of uproar and turmoil. Early this month an armed gang led by wealthy residents of the area invaded the four feddans wide archaeological site, covered the excavation area with sand and began to bulldoze it.

The gang divided the land and distributed it among its members in parcels of approximately 800 square metres each. Every member surrounded his part with blocks of stones in order to separate it from the others and started to built mud brick houses. Read more

For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Pakistan, Pyramids and Politics
Over the past two months, events in Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey have geographically framed the ongoing destruction of cultural property in Syria and looting in Afghanistan. The bust of a smuggling ring in Karachi, rhetoric of destroying pyramids in Egypt and Turkey’s claims of repatriation do not overshadow the bombing of historic buildings in Syria, but the events do illustrate the political and economic significance of cultural property outside of armed conflict. 
Previous posts have recounted reports on calls by Muslim religious leaders to destroy, or conceal in wax, the pyramids at Giza (2012-07-14) and have described Turkey’s assertiveness in reclaiming antiquities from museums worldwide (2012-03-13). In July, an event in Pakistan involved looted relics with political, as well as financial, implications. 
Police in Karachi seized a container truck of Buddhist relics from the Gandhara region, which stretches from Pakistan into Afghanistan (1). On the financial side, the region is targeted by looters, who provide relics to collectors worldwide. Vandalism and destruction of Buddhist artifacts also has a political side in that Taliban militants are suspected of removing the relics from Pakistan and hard-line Muslims, who view images of Buddha as false idols, destroy the cultural artifacts. 
Destruction of fortresses and historic structures in Syria is tragic and irreversible. As related in a recent post (2012-08-03), targeting of the crusader-era castle of the Crac des Chevaliers illustrates the threat to cultural security during armed conflict. As exemplified by the tactics of Turkey, the rhetoric of Muslim religious leaders, and smugglers in Pakistan, the political economy of cultural property creates risk for antiquities and monuments in peacetime as well.
For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Pakistan, Pyramids and Politics

Over the past two months, events in Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey have geographically framed the ongoing destruction of cultural property in Syria and looting in Afghanistan. The bust of a smuggling ring in Karachi, rhetoric of destroying pyramids in Egypt and Turkey’s claims of repatriation do not overshadow the bombing of historic buildings in Syria, but the events do illustrate the political and economic significance of cultural property outside of armed conflict.

Previous posts have recounted reports on calls by Muslim religious leaders to destroy, or conceal in wax, the pyramids at Giza (2012-07-14) and have described Turkey’s assertiveness in reclaiming antiquities from museums worldwide (2012-03-13). In July, an event in Pakistan involved looted relics with political, as well as financial, implications.

Police in Karachi seized a container truck of Buddhist relics from the Gandhara region, which stretches from Pakistan into Afghanistan (1). On the financial side, the region is targeted by looters, who provide relics to collectors worldwide. Vandalism and destruction of Buddhist artifacts also has a political side in that Taliban militants are suspected of removing the relics from Pakistan and hard-line Muslims, who view images of Buddha as false idols, destroy the cultural artifacts.

Destruction of fortresses and historic structures in Syria is tragic and irreversible. As related in a recent post (2012-08-03), targeting of the crusader-era castle of the Crac des Chevaliers illustrates the threat to cultural security during armed conflict. As exemplified by the tactics of Turkey, the rhetoric of Muslim religious leaders, and smugglers in Pakistan, the political economy of cultural property creates risk for antiquities and monuments in peacetime as well.

For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Egyptian Politician’s Sons Arrested for Attempted Antiquities Theft

A former Egyptian lawmaker’s sons were briefly detained Sunday on charges of illegally digging for artifacts in the ancient city of Luxor in the latest scandal involving an ultraconservative Islamist who served in parliament.

Two sons of Gaber Abdel-Monem Ali, who goes by the name Gaber Gahlan, were arrested and then released, antiquities officials said.

…Antiquities theft is a persistent problem for Egypt, which is rich in ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts. The problem has intensified since last year’s uprising and the security lapse that has followed. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

(Source: dougpile.com)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Two New Egyptian Pyramids Found Using Google Earth?
Here’s a good one for all those who got excited when it was rumoured the lost continent of Atlantis was found on Google Earth: a researcher now thinks she’s found two undiscovered pyramids in Egypt on Google Earth.
The two possible complexes are located about 144 kilometres apart from each other in Upper Egypt (the southern part of the country). Satellite archaeology researcher Angela Micol wrote on her website Google Earth Anomalies that the sites contain unusual mounds with noteworthy features.  Read more
For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Two New Egyptian Pyramids Found Using Google Earth?

Here’s a good one for all those who got excited when it was rumoured the lost continent of Atlantis was found on Google Earth: a researcher now thinks she’s found two undiscovered pyramids in Egypt on Google Earth.

The two possible complexes are located about 144 kilometres apart from each other in Upper Egypt (the southern part of the country). Satellite archaeology researcher Angela Micol wrote on her website Google Earth Anomalies that the sites contain unusual mounds with noteworthy features.  Read more

For similar news stories visit  http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
U.S. Customs Agents Seize Two Egyptian Sacrophagi
Two Egyptian sarcophagi, which U.S. border authorities said were priceless historical artifacts, were seized from a shipment crossing from Mexico into Laredo, TX in early July.
The unusual seizure was made by officers and import specialists from the Import Specialist Enforcement Team (ISET) at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Laredo Port of Entry, said CBP on July 31. ISET worked in close coordination with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to seize the “two priceless Egyptian sarcophagi-type artifacts,” it said. 
CBP said agents determined the two sarcophagi, one adorned with a wooden mask with glass eyes and the other with a standing lady of painted stucco over linen, were protected antiquities and the rightful property of Egypt.
Laredo ISET, according to CBP, was on the look-out for stolen Egyptian antiquities having “been recently made aware” some items could be headed to the U.S. A CBP officer at World Trade Bridge in Laredo selected a shipment manifested as Egyptian sculptures for an enforcement examination, said the agency. In the course of that examination, CBP officers discovered that the shipment included possible Egyptian antiquities and contacted ISET. Laredo ISET contacted Laredo HSI for further investigation, said CBP. In turn, Laredo HSI contacted the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities and determined the two sarcophagi were Egyptian property under international antiquities law. Read more
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

U.S. Customs Agents Seize Two Egyptian Sacrophagi

Two Egyptian sarcophagi, which U.S. border authorities said were priceless historical artifacts, were seized from a shipment crossing from Mexico into Laredo, TX in early July.

The unusual seizure was made by officers and import specialists from the Import Specialist Enforcement Team (ISET) at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Laredo Port of Entry, said CBP on July 31. ISET worked in close coordination with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to seize the “two priceless Egyptian sarcophagi-type artifacts,” it said. 

CBP said agents determined the two sarcophagi, one adorned with a wooden mask with glass eyes and the other with a standing lady of painted stucco over linen, were protected antiquities and the rightful property of Egypt.

Laredo ISET, according to CBP, was on the look-out for stolen Egyptian antiquities having “been recently made aware” some items could be headed to the U.S. A CBP officer at World Trade Bridge in Laredo selected a shipment manifested as Egyptian sculptures for an enforcement examination, said the agency. In the course of that examination, CBP officers discovered that the shipment included possible Egyptian antiquities and contacted ISET. Laredo ISET contacted Laredo HSI for further investigation, said CBP. In turn, Laredo HSI contacted the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities and determined the two sarcophagi were Egyptian property under international antiquities law. Read more

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Sunday, July 15, 2012
Are the Egyptian Pyramids in Danger of Destruction?
As reported by multiple Arab news outlets within the past few weeks, several Muslim religious leaders have demanded the demolition of the pyramids at Giza, Egypt, because of their purported antithetical nature to Islamic faith. Despite the fact that the majority of Egyptian pyramids were not built for religious purposes, but rather as tombs for the pharaohs of the Old and Middle Kingdoms, many Muslims consider the 4500-year-old structures to be “symbols of paganism” that must be destroyed.
With the recent election of Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, such radical appeals may find a sympathetic ear at the highest levels of government. Yet if the demolition of the pyramids seems too extreme an act for the newly-elected leader, the Salafi Al-Nour Party has offered a less destructive solution: simply cover the pyramids in wax!
Though the realization of such extreme measures—either the total destruction of the pyramids or their concealment under a coating of wax—may seem highly improbable to many of us in the Western world, one only need be reminded of the Taliban’s demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 to realize the true threat of religious fervor to cultural security.
Both the pyramids and the buddhas appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List, joining 960 other cultural and natural heritage properties. However, the inclusion of the pyramids on UNESCO’s list may not provide sufficient enough cause to prevent the eradication of one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures, a true testament to the avant-garde ingenuity of an ancient civilization.
For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm

Are the Egyptian Pyramids in Danger of Destruction?

As reported by multiple Arab news outlets within the past few weeks, several Muslim religious leaders have demanded the demolition of the pyramids at Giza, Egypt, because of their purported antithetical nature to Islamic faith. Despite the fact that the majority of Egyptian pyramids were not built for religious purposes, but rather as tombs for the pharaohs of the Old and Middle Kingdoms, many Muslims consider the 4500-year-old structures to be “symbols of paganism” that must be destroyed.

With the recent election of Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, such radical appeals may find a sympathetic ear at the highest levels of government. Yet if the demolition of the pyramids seems too extreme an act for the newly-elected leader, the Salafi Al-Nour Party has offered a less destructive solution: simply cover the pyramids in wax!

Though the realization of such extreme measures—either the total destruction of the pyramids or their concealment under a coating of wax—may seem highly improbable to many of us in the Western world, one only need be reminded of the Taliban’s demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 to realize the true threat of religious fervor to cultural security.

Both the pyramids and the buddhas appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List, joining 960 other cultural and natural heritage properties. However, the inclusion of the pyramids on UNESCO’s list may not provide sufficient enough cause to prevent the eradication of one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures, a true testament to the avant-garde ingenuity of an ancient civilization.

For similar news stories visit http://culturalsecurity.net/newssummary.htm