17 April 2011
An announcement last week by Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass informed of the recovery of four objects that had gone missing from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, Cairo, in the wake of the 25 January revolution.
The pieces were found by pure chance in the underground metro station of Shubral-Kheima in Cairo by Salah Abdel-Salam who works with the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Abdel-Salam immediately handed them over to Dr Hawass who had them checked for authenticity.
The objects returned include the gilded wooden statue of Tutankhamun standing in a boat throwing a harpoon. The statue suffered slight damage, the announcement declared; a small part of the crown is missing as well as pieces of the legs. The boat is still in the museum, and the figure of the king will be reunited with it and restored.
The second object is one of the 10 missing shabtis of Yuya and Tjuya—shabtis are servant figures placed in tombs to serve the deceased in the afterlife. “It is still in very good condition; it does not require restoration and will be placed on display again immediately,” Tarek al-Awady, Director of the Egyptian Museum, said.
The third object is the gilded bronze and wooden trumpet of Tutankhamun. It was also received in excellent condition and will be put on display immediately.
Also returned was a part of Tutankhamun’s fan. One face is in good condition while the other has been broken into 11 pieces.
Dr Hawass announced that an exhibition will be held shortly to display the pieces of antiquity which were stolen from the museum during the 18-day revolution last January. He called upon individuals who had in their possession any pieces of antiquity to hand them over to the Antiquity authority, and promised financial reward in exchange.