Egypt vows to halt encroachment on archaeological sites

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass on Monday pledged his ministry’s cooperation with the military to remove all illegal encroachments from archaeological sites within one month.

Citizens were seen building houses at areas of excavation in the wake of the security void that accompanied the 25 January revolution.

Hawass told reporters on Sunday that the number of artifacts stolen from the Egyptian museum does not exceed 31, which is contrary to what happened in Iraq, when thieves stole about 15,000 monuments.

During his recent visit to Alexandria, Hawass pledged that his ministry would recognize the governorate building as historic.

Archaeologists in Alexandria earlier mounted a campaign to transfer control of the building to the ministry. They said the exterior of the current governorate building was built after 1952 and got damaged by fire during the 25 January revolution.

Ahmed Abdel Fattah, Supreme Council of Antiquities adviser, said the building was built in 1890 and includes several rare monuments and documents.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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