Egyptian archaeologists threatened to organize a strike and sit-in on Sunday if a ministry official is not immediately appointed to take charge of archeology-related affairs. The threat came in light of the repeated thefts and lootings of Egyptian artifacts and relics.
The archeologists sent a letter to Prime Minister Essam Sharaf in which they demanded the appointment of either a minister or a head of an independent body affiliated to the Council of Ministers.
In the letter, Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, the director of the Central Administration for Antiquities in Alexandria and Lower Egypt warned of the seriousness of the situation, saying that it “has resulted in the total paralysis in the decision-making process needed for the continuance of archaeological work.”
Abdel Maqsoud went on to say that the current lack of any responsible official has hindered the work of the permanent committees of Egyptian antiquities, which are responsible for granting approval to foreign missions to work at archaeological sites. They have also been hindered in making other decisions related to work at archaeological sites that require the approval of the appropriate official or his representative.
Translated from the Arabic Edition