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Egyptian Archaeologist Exposes Looting

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


ABU SIR AL MALAQ, EGYPT—Egyptian archaeologist Monica Hanna documents looting in her country and brings it to the attention of government officials and the media. She noticed that foreign archaeologists were reluctant to report theft and damage to the sites where they worked because they were afraid of losing work permits from the Egyptian government, and that antiquities inspectors were often ignored when they reported looting. In addition to assisting others with monitoring archaeological sites, Hanna is part of the effort to develop a website that will allow anyone to report problems anonymously. Yet, some people have responded to her crusade with threats. “That means she is doing her job well. She is scaring some of the syndicate people who live around and feed off of the antiquities,” commented Salima Ikram, Hanna’s former teacher at American University.