Looting Jeopardizes Egyptian Historical Artifacts

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Continued unrest in Egypt has put thousands of the country's historical treasures in danger.

Looters -- taking advantage of the anti-government demonstrations -- broke into Cairo's Egyptian Museum Monday, ripping the heads off two mummies, and destroying the golden mask of King Tutankhamen, as well as dozens of other artifacts.

"A lot of the things that were broken off were gilded wood, so I think they were after gold," said UCLA Egyptologist Willeke Wendrich.

"The restoration of those objects, even if all the parts are still there, will be very difficult, time consuming and costly," she added. "This is really fragile wood."

The Egyptian Museum and other archaeological sites are now under military guard.

A group of Egyptian civilians also formed a human chain outside the museum to prevent thieves from entering, according to National Geographic News.

"We are sending a message to all the people all over the world that the Egyptian people protect the Egyptian treasures," one resident said.

The looters have been apprehended by the police and new security measures have been added.  

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