Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hidden Artifacts Recovered in Egypt

Hundreds of ancient pottery items have been discovered in an Alexandria museum in a hiding place "most probably" created during World War II, Egypt's antiquities ministry said Wednesday.

Pots and other receptacles dating back to Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras were discovered "during restoration work" in a garden inside the Greco-Roman museum of Alexandria in northern Egypt, the ministry said in a statement.

"These pots were most probably hidden by (British) archaeologist Alan Rowe and... employees in the museum's garden during World War II", Ayman Ashmawy, head of Egyptian antiquities at the ministry, said in the statement.

The artefacts were hidden to "protect them from looting or being destroyed by repeated bombardments during the war", he said.
This made me wonder how many other artifact collections might still be in the places they were hidden during World War II. Seems to me that a lot of smaller museums in Europe and Japan might have buried stuff in their gardens, too.

1 comment:

pootrsox said...

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts did not exactly bury its riches. Instead, they rented the empty Stotesbury mansion, Whitemarsh Hall, in Springfield Twp outside Philadelphia. They stored their priceless artifacts in the sub-basements, etc. And they had a live-in caretaker family, too. They took everything back in I think 1944; a chemicals company, then called Pennsalt, bought the mansion and turned it into offices and labs. What a loss! (And the loss of the entire building is a far sadder story than that.)

In the 1950's I spent many lovely afternoons wandering the grounds; it was then still actively in use by Pennsalt, so I never got to go inside.