The looting of Cairo’s world-famous Egyptian Museum over the weekend seems to have engendered the desired news headlines.
‘Looters smash ancient treasures’, ‘Looters decapitate mummies’, ‘Looters rip off heads of artifacts’ etc., read a rash of headlines, following the apparent breaking into the country’s national museum, which is said to house the world’s biggest of Pharaonic antiquities.
However, it has since emerged, although with much less headline coverage, that some of the would-be looters apprehended by protesters outside the museum were identified as working for the state’s interior ministry.
Also, tellingly, Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Al Jazeera news service that protesters had actually tried to stop the alleged looters from entering the museum, but that the attackers managed to enter the building from the roof. Given that there was no apparent attempt to steal the priceless artifacts, it seems a strange expenditure of effort on the part of the culprits just to go on a wrecking spree for the sake of it.'