- Monday, 10 July 2017
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Counselor Rashida Fathallah/ President of Administrative Prosecution Authority (APA) ordered to refer each of: the Head of Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, Head the Central Administration for Monuments in the Nile Delta, the Egyptian official heading the Egyptian-German Joint Mission for Archeological Prospection, Director of Al Matareya and Ain Shams Archeological Sites and a Security Guard at Al Matareya Archeological Site to immediate Disciplinary Trial.
As APA conducted an investigation based on the memorandum prepared by the Prosecution’s Media and Information Center regarding what was circulated on many media and social network websites about the discovery of an archeological statue of King Psammetich 1 from the twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt (600 years B.C) at the Souq Al-Khamis area at Al Matareya district, Cairo Governorate by the Egyptian-German joint mission for archeological prospection where an excavator was used to extract the statue out of the ground where it was buried without following the scientific and technical rules of archeological excavations , later the statue was left unguarded which enabled some pedestrians to tamper with it on Saturday 9/3/2017.
Investigations conducted by Chief Prosecutor/ Hassan Youssef under the supervision of Counselor Nagy Abd Al-Hamid/Head of Antiquities Prosecution in case no. 192/2017 concluded forming a technical, specialized committee from Professors at the Faculty of Archaeology- Cairo University headed by the Former Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology at Cairo University.
The Prosecution listened to the testimony of the German expert Dietrich Raue Klaus/ Head of the German mission for archeological prospection who stated that on Tuesday 7/3/2017 parts of an archaeological statue (two pieces) were discovered at the Souq Al-Khamis site at Al Matareya district and consequently officials at the Ministry of Antiquities were immediately notified and he requested providing water suction pumps as the statue was buried in a mud soil saturated with water, he also stated that the first part of the statue was extracted by heavy equipment (an excavator) despite that it was forbidden to use such equipment at the excavation site since it could possibly damage the statue, and after the extraction of the first part of the statue on Thursday 9/3/2017 it was left exposed on-site without any security supervision until Saturday 11/3/2017 which enabled some pedestrians to tamper with it and he indicated that it was the responsibility of the Egyptian side to cover and preserve the statue in accordance technical rules and regulations followed in this concern and to appoint security guards to protect the statue, whereas the second part of the statue was extracted from the mud soil where it was buried using a heavy crane as it weighed more than eight tons.
Also the Prosecution listened to the hearings of the Technical Committee formed under the supervision of the Former Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology at Cairo University which presented a report after conducting a technical inspection that concluded that the extraction process of the first part of the archaeological statue included the occurrence of mistakes such as using an excavator in a mud soil in an area of excavations which would expose the archeological pieces –if present- to danger, beside leaving the first part of the statue that was extracted exposed for two days without handling it in a technical professional manner and without any security supervision which enabled some pedestrians to tamper with it, as for the rest statue (second part) it was extracted in accordance with the scientific rules followed in this concern using a heavy crane, where the committee members agreed that the statue was split into two parts in an ancient era long before it was discovered and extracted.
APA confronted the previously mentioned defendants with the violations that took place during the extraction of the first part of the statue on 9/3/2017 and concluded their referral to immediate disciplinary trial for their negligence in providing the necessary materials used to cover and preserve the first part of the statue extracted and leaving it unguarded on-site until 11/3/2017 instead of immediately transferring it to a restoration laboratory which enabled some pedestrians to tamper with it and climb over the extracted archeological piece.
Furthermore, the Prosecution addressed officials at the Antiquities sector to deal with Egypt’s cultural heritage in accordance with its importance considering that Egypt’s monuments and treasures are the true treasures that were passed through generations over thousands of years ensuring the greatness of this country since the dawn of creation.
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