CAIRO: Egyptian officials said on Friday that 800 priceless artifacts were still missing after armed robbers raided a warehouse near the canal city of Ismailia in the unrest following a popular revolt.
"An inventory of the East Qantara warehouse which houses antiquities from the provinces on the Suez Canal and Sinai has revealed the theft and damage of a large number of artifacts," said Mohamed Abdel Maqsood, an official with Supreme Council of Antiquities for north east Egypt.
"We found that 800 antiquities — which go back to the Pharaonic, Roman and Islamic periods — are still missing from the warehouse after 293 items were recovered," he said.
Abdel Maqsood said the survey also revealed that "several" artifacts unearthed by French, American and Polish archaeological teams had also been stolen.
Robbers raided several warehouses around the country, including the one in Cairo’s world renowned Egyptian Museum, after an uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak gave way to looting and insecurity.
On Tuesday, the United Nations cultural body UNESCO voiced growing concern for Egypt’s archaeological sites and museums.