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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
News: Antiquities Ministry announced Apis Bull of Hadrian is Safe and Sound
of Antiquities denies claims by activists that the Apis Bull of Hadrian has
been damaged during transportation. Written by Nevine El-Aref
The Apis Bull
Egypt Heritage Task Force group on Wednesday wrote on Facebook that the
magnificent statue of the Apis Bull of Hadrian had been broken to pieces while
it was being transported from the Graeco-Roman museum storeroom to the Maritime
Museum to prepare it for a European exhibition tour of Alexandria's underwater
statue is about 1.90 metres long, carved in basalt and dated to the reign of
the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd Century CE. It was discovered to the west
of Pompey's Pillar in Alexandria and represents the most successful imposition
of Greek realism upon an Egyptian image.
activists claim the statue is a masterpiece and should have never been moved
for the exhibition as under the antiquities law, all unique heritage objects
cannot travel to exhibitions abroad.
statue was moved to be packed to travel even before the official approval of
the exhibition was taken," they claim in a statement, adding that the
Ministry of Antiquities did not report the incident so that the company
responsible for the exhibition would not have to pay the insurance. Instead,
they claim, a foreign archaeologist who is also involved in the exhibition paid
to get the statue restored.
The Apis bull upon discovery
statue was restored badly," one of the activists told Ahram Online but
requested anonymity. She pointed out that the statue should not leave Egyptian
soil. "This is still being kept low
profile, despite the fact that Ahmed Sharaf, the ex-chief of museums at the
Ministry of Antiquities, has been imprisoned on other corruption charges
since," she added.
the claims by activists have been disputed by the antiquities ministry. "All
that has been published on Facebook or said by the activists is completely
untrue and unfounded," Nadia Khedre, head of Museums Section in
Alexandria, told Ahram Online.
statue is safe and sound," she confirmed, adding that it arrived safely at
the Maritime Museum and was never broken. She describes what has circulated on
the internet as an attempt to distort the reputation of Egyptian archaeologists
Salah, head of the Museums Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram
Online that the statue has been in a bad condition since it was unearthed and
was restored twice; once immediately after its discovery and the second ten
years ago. The statue, she explained, was selected to travel in an exhibition
abroad by a professional archaeological committee from the ministry. "The
statue is under restoration now not because it was broken; it is a routine work
for any artefact selected to travel to an exhibition," Salah asserted.
called the media not to publish anything before being sure of the news they are
publishing and to think more that such false news could have a bad impact on
Egypt's heritage and archaeological work.