Looters Rip Heads off Mummies
Military sent to guard Egyptian Museum
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 29, 2011 4:27 PM CST
An Egyptian APC vehicle drives near the Pyramids, in Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. The Pyramids are closed to tourists.    (Victoria Hazou)
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(Newser) – Would-be looters broke into Cairo's famed Egyptian Museum, ripping the heads off two mummies and damaging about 10 small artifacts before being caught and detained by soldiers, Egypt's antiquities chief said today. Zahi Hawass said the vandals did not manage to steal any of the museum's antiquities, and that the prized collection was now safe and under military guard. The military has also dispatched armored personnel carriers and troops to the Pyramids of Giza, the temple city of Luxor and other key archaeological monuments.

Hawass said now that the Egyptian Museum's collection is secure from thieves, the greatest threat to the collection inside is posed by the torched ruling party headquarters building next door. "What scares me is that if this building is destroyed, it will fall over the museum," Hawass said as he watched fire trucks spray water on the still smoldering NDP headquarters.