Terrorist Attacks Damage Egyptian Antiquities Museum

Damage to the El Arish Museum in Arish, Egypt. Photo: Youm7.
Damage to the El Arish Museum in Arish, Egypt. Photo: Youm7.

Terrorist attacks last week in the north of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have severely damaged the El Arish Museum for antiquities, reports Ahram Online.

At least 30 people were killed and another 60 injured in Thursday’s attacks by the State of Sinai militant group, which targeted the Al-Arish security directorate next door, among other sites around the city. The violence included mortar fire and a car bomb, and has destroyed the museum’s facade and entrance, leaving glass windows and doors shattered. One of the institution’s side buildings has collapsed.

“The people who are responsible for the attacks are simply sick and hate themselves before they hate anyone else,” Mohammed Fawzy, the former head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Museums Sector, told Daily News Egypt. North Sinai has seen an increase in attacks carried out by militant groups since president Mohamed Morsi was removed from power in July 2013.

Following the attack, Ahmed Sharaf, head of the museum department at the Antiquities Ministry, assured reporters that no artifacts had been damaged, saying “the museum has been closed for public since July 2013 and thus its showcases are empty. The masterpieces were transported to the antiquities ministry’s central storehouses at the start of the militant attacks in July 2013, while the other artifacts in the museum are safe in the basement of the building.”

The museum, which is one of the few places in North Sinai dedicated to archeological artifacts excavated in the region, boasts a 1,200-piece collection spanning 5,000 years of Egyptian history. Opened in 2008 by former first lady Suzanne Mubarak, the institution cost $5 million to construct.


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