S. N. GRINYAEV
Head of the Center for Strategic Assessments and Forecasts
LOSSES INCURRED AS A RESULT OF RECENT EVENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Museum values Keywords:, cairo museums, cultural heritage of Iraq, archaeological excavations
Spontaneous demonstrations by the masses, in whatever countries they occur, usually lead to the loss of cultural property, the looting of museum treasures, the plundering of personal collections, no matter how high their value. The events of the beginning of this year, which took place in the Arab East, were no exception.
From many countries in the region, there were reports of huge damage to the unique collections of ancient art treasures caused by crowds of people suddenly breaking into museums and palaces. And although the goals of the rebels were generally noble, and their demands for changes in states and society were mostly justified, these people, as is often the case during revolutions, were joined by a lot of lumpen or simply criminal elements. They were essentially indifferent to the revolutionary slogans, and they used the resulting turmoil for personal enrichment, for looting everything that came to hand-from food in supermarkets to unique museum values.
LOOTERS IN MUSEUMS
It is impossible to justify all this. Numerous facts of looters ' participation in the looting of the most valuable museum exhibits have been proven and condemned by the world community. So, in one of the very first reports of riots that broke out on the streets of Cairo, it was said that about 70 exhibits of the world-famous Cairo Museum were damaged, which now have to be restored. 1 Then there were fewer such disturbing reports, but it is quite obvious that such facts were not isolated.
It is still impossible to assess the damage caused to the museum collections of Egypt due to the lack of complete information, Elena Tolmacheva, scientific secretary of the Center for Egyptological Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who returned from an archaeolog ... Read more