In light of this weekend’s looting in Egypt and damage to some of the world’s most priceless treasures at the Cairo Museum, Marc Corwin, president of American Exhibitions, Inc., producer of Mummies of the World, the largest collection of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled, released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the devastation that took place at the Cairo Museum this past weekend. It is heartbreaking not only for our contemporaries in Egypt, but for the world as a whole. It is of crucial importance to preserve such items as these ancient artifacts and mummies given the impact they have not only for the advancement in science, but also as to their purpose in serving as a window to past cultures. Their historical value is priceless, and our hearts are a bit heavier knowing that these irreplaceable antiquities have been damaged, perhaps never to be enjoyed by or used for scientific studies for future generations.”
Dr. Bob Brier, an expert on mummies and senior research fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University adds, “The Cairo Museum is home to thousands of historical treasures. Anyone who has had the privilege of visiting the Museum knows these are some of the most prized artifacts in the world. These are not just abstract objects; we know these pieces. I’ve stood in front of their cases, talked about them to my students. To see these artifacts lying smashed on the floor is deeply troubling. Even worse for me is to see mummies of such great historical importance damaged.”
Dr. Brier continues, “The public must understand how important it is to protect the mummies of the world. Mummies are like little encyclopedias; if one knows how to read them, they contain vast amounts of invaluable information. We are seeing this now in Cairo and surrounding areas as civilians join forces with the military to protect the vast number of tombs, monuments and temples throughout Egypt, standing as guardians of a heritage that is significant to the world.”
The statement was issued Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Currently on display at the Milwaukee Public Museum, Mummies of the World is claimed to be the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts, featuring a collection of 150 artifacts and real human and animal specimens from South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Egypt.
In the picture above: These Egyptian mummy heads are part of the Mummies of the World exhibition, a traveling exhibition of mummies and artifacts. Two centuries ago, Egyptian mummies were frequently cut into pieces and sold, often to tourists.