9 Feb 2011

Concern for safety of Egyptian artefacts

4:22 pm on 9 February 2011

Egyptologists around the world have expressed concern for the safety of Egypt's priceless artefacts during the country's political unrest.

Anti-government demonstrators are picking up momentum as thousands of people packed into Cairo's Tahrir Square.

More than 70 treasures from the Egyptian Museum have been damaged during looting attempts in the revolt against President Hosni Mubarak, the ABC reports.

British Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson says the army is only able to protect the museum's front entrance in Tahrir Square and staff have to take care of the rear part of the building.

Dr Wilkinson says is the greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world, surpassing the Egyptian collections of the British Musuem, the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York put together.