Egypt’s Administrative Prosecution court ordered on Wednesday 72 employees from the archaeological sector and a number of security officials from Monufiya governorate to be tried on charges of theft as well as turning a historical site into a parking lot, Al-Watan newspaper reported.
Mohammed Samir, spokesman for the Administrative Prosecution, said that the people responsible for the looting are the former director of the archaeological site in Quesna city, the former archaeologist in charge of Quesna’s stone-pit, 40 archaeological inspectors in the historical hill area of Quesna quarry, and 25 security officials in the archaeological hill area of Quesna quarry.
According to Al-Watan, the prosecution received a complaint from one of the archaeologists responsible for the area of the stone-pits in Quesna who had reported the destruction of a large segment of the archaeological hill in Quesna from the west side. The charged persons reportedly stole monuments worth LE5 million, which was found in the sand at the site.
The site was allegedly used as a parking lot for heavy transport vehicles that belong to one of the factories at the area.
The prosecution began investigations into the case, and ordered the formation of a committee headed by the financial and administrative inspector in the General Court of the province of Monufiya. The commission report included violations on the archaeological property by digging ancient sands and establishing a road that passes next to the archaeological hill area.
Investigation showed that the sand contained treasures and monuments, while affirming that the site is an ancient cemetery, which hosts monuments and coffins of different sizes.
“This ancient hill was treated as a warehouse for the remnants of the factories adjacent to it, under the sight of all those responsible for this archaeological location, with no action taken regarding these violations,” the investigations said.