The Destruction Of Ancient Egyptian Relics From Cairo

923 Words Oct 12th, 2015 4 Pages
A question that often arises when walking down a well occupied hallway of a museum is, “Who found this piece of history?”, or “How did it get here?” The answers to these questions still leave historians, archaeologists, art collectors and curators divided; whether their work leaves their moral conscience intact or brings them to realization that, in fact, these items were taken from their “rightful owners.” Ideally, the art belongs to its country of origin whether it is owned by the government or the individual. However, there are numerous circumstances that prevent this from playing out, such as war, reassigning borders of a country, and change in governmental policies and so on.

In areas of turmoil, when the integrity of historical artefacts are under threat, external forces come into play in order to preserve them. Jonathan Tokeley-Parry justifies his smuggling of ancient Egyptian relics from Cairo during the ongoing economic crisis and the struggle with the Islamist terrorist group, Al- Qaeda, as the “only way to preserve ancient artifacts” (Who Owns Ancient Art? Part 1, CBC/Ideas, 2015). The insurgence of Islamist terrorist organizations during the 1990s into Egypt forced the local museums to sell off, legally or otherwise, their exhibits at highly reduced prices to neighboring countries, international curators, as well as smugglers. If these steps had not been undertaken, these objects would be used to fuel terrorist activities which would propel the nation into…
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