AIA News

February 1, 2011

Statement of Support for Egypt

The undersigned cultural heritage and archaeological organizations express their concern over the loss of life and injury to humans during the protests in Egypt this week. We support the desire of the Egyptian people to exercise their basic civil rights. We also share their concern about the losses to cultural heritage that Egypt has already sustained and the threat of further such losses over the coming days.

Brave actions taken by the citizens of Cairo and the military largely protected the Cairo Museum. However, numerous sites, museums and storage areas located outside of Cairo are even more vulnerable. As the prisons are opened, the potential for greater loss is created. Multiple reports now say that damage has been done to storage areas and tombs in Abusir and Saqqara and that looting is occurring there and in other locations.

We call on the Egyptian authorities to exercise their responsibilities to protect their country’s irreplaceable cultural heritage. At the same time, we call on United Statesand European law enforcement agencies to be on the alert over the next several months for the possible appearance of looted Egyptian antiquities at their borders.


American Academy of Religion

Contact: John R. Fitzmier, Executive Director,; 404-727-3049

American Anthropological Association

Contact: Virginia R. Dominguez, President,; 215-898-4975.

American Schools of Oriental Research

Contact: Professor Timothy Harrison, President;; 416-978-6600.

Archaeological Institute of America

Contact: Dr. Elizabeth Bartman, President;; 857-305-9350

Association of Art Museum Directors

Contact: Kaywin Feldman, President,; 612-870-3222

Association of Art Museum Curators

Contact: Sally Block, Executive Director,; 212-879-5701

Collaborative for Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices

Contact: Helaine I. Silverman, Director,; 217-333-3616

Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies, Rutgers University

Contact: Archer St. Clair Harvey, Director; 773-932-7041;

Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation

Contact: Professor Patty Gerstenblith, President; 312-362-6175;

Penn Cultural HeritageCenter, Universityof Pennsylvania

Contact: Professor Richard Leventhal, Director; 215-573-1202;

Sino-American Field School of Archaeology

Contact: Dr. Alfonz Lengyel, RPA, Founder;

U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield

Contact: Corine Wegener, President; 612/870-3293;

For more information, contact Peter Herdrich, CEO, Archaeological Institute of America,, 718-472-3050 x18.

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