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Egyptian archaeologists demand countries mind their own business

Egyptian Archaeologists' Syndicate reply to intl 'meddling' in Egypt with an ultimatum to antiquities authority: Cut all ties with 'foreign,' 'enemy' countries' institutions...or we will

Nevine El-Aref , Friday 16 Aug 2013
archives photo: sacred lake at karnak temple
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The Egyptian Archaeologists' Syndicate calls on the Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA) to cut all ties with foreign – and especially American - archaeological missions in response to international reaction towards the current political events in Egypt.

The Syndicate's statement came hours after a French-called UN council meeting started to discuss Egypt' interim government forcible removal of Brotherhood and their allies from their weeks-long sit-ins demanding deposed president Mohamed Morsi be reinstated; as well as a condemnation by US President Barak Obama of "the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government and security forces...We deplore violence against civilians."

The Brotherhood supporters have replied by attacking government buildings, police and fire stations and a reported 52 churches.

The Syndicate wants to see the MSA take immediate, thorough steps to cut all ties, even including prohibiting researchers and students to enter Egyptian museums and archaeological sites, Archaeologists Syndicate Coordinator Salah El-Hadi announces in a press release sent around 11pm.

Foreign archaeological and cultural institutes - again, emphasising American institutions, with the American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) and the Chicago House mentioned by name - should be cut off because of their country’s support of "terrorism," i.e. the Brotherhood's recent actions.

This prohibition, asserts El-Hadi, "would continue until those foreign cultural and archaeological institutes in Egypt pronounce their official rejection of their countries' policy of intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs."

"We are not quite reassured of our heritage being in the hands of our enemies," El-Hadi says, adding: "If the MSA will not accept and follow-through with our demands, archaeologists will implement the prohibition [ourselves] and will work towards cutting any cooperation with them."

The Muslim Brotherhood have been protesting for weeks against what they call a " coup" against Mohamed Morsi, who the military deposed from presidency after mass protests calling for early presidential elections.

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