Today I would like to discuss, in detail, some of the objects that were broken at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. In front of the Amarna galleries, on the first floor of the museum, there is a vitrine that holds a small statue of Akhenaten wearing the blue crown and holding an offering table. This vitrine was smashed, and the statue sustained minor damage; this is the first object that will be cleaned and restored.
Upstairs, in front of the room that holds the golden mask of Tutankhamun, a vitrine containing two walking sticks and the head of a gilded fan belonging to the king. One stick was stripped of its thin gold sheeting when it was thrown on the floor, but it can be restored. This case, and the one containing the statue of Tutankamun standing on a panther, were the only Tutankhamun cases that suffered from any damage. I carefully rechecked all the other vitrines in the Tutankhamun galleries, and I would like to assure the world that they are safe and untouched.
The New Kingdom coffin that was damaged by the criminals can easily be restored. These people were searching for mummies in the hopes that they would find gold and red mercury, believed by some people to have magical properties. I think that this shows the ignorance of the thieves.
I have received many queries on the members of Akhenaten’s family. While at the museum yesterday, I made sure to visit the mummies of Akhenaten (the mummy from KV55), Queen Tiye (also known as the Elder Lady from KV35), and the mother of Tutankhamun (also known as the Younger Lady from KV35). These three mummies are housed in vitrines next to the second royal mummy room on the west side of the museum, and were not touched or damaged by the looters. They are completely safe.
The museum staff and I have begun to replace the broken vitrines, and to clean the museum and the new bookshop; we are working hard to prepare the museum for its reopening.