Egypt’s Malawi National Museum was damaged and looted by rioters during the clashes that have erupted throughout the country, reported Ahram online on Thursday.
The museum, in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, was allegedly broken into and some artifacts were damaged and stolen, according to a statement made by the Ministry of Antiquities.
The ministry’s official statement accords pro-Mursi supporters the blame for the break in.
According to the ministry, the protesters announced a sit-in in the museum’s garden and then took down the building’s internal gate and broke into its halls, damaging surveillance cameras in the process.
No police were reportedly present at the museum, said an anonymous source to Ahram online.
“It is a great loss and I am really saddened by what has happened to such a museum,” Minister of State of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online.
Ibrahim added that an archaeological committee is inspecting the site with the aim of providing a list of the missing objects to send to the prosecutor-general pending an investigation.
According to the minister, this list will be distributed to all Egyptian ports to curtain any smuggling attempts.
Ibrahim further stated that all museum and archeological sites in the country will remain open, but will close two hours earlier due to the unrest in Egypt. The Malawi National Museum, however, will remain closed, reported Ahram online.
On Wednesday, Egypt witnessed nationwide violence that left over 600 dead and thousands injured after security forces cleared sit-ins by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Mursi in Cairo.