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The State of Egyptian Antiquities, According to Zahi Hawass

On February 2nd, a post published on now-Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass’s blog categorically stated: “I would like the people of the world to know that today all of the Egyptian monuments are safe.” The post assures us that no major Egyptian archaeological sites have been seriously damaged besides the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, at the epicenter of the protests that recently overthrew Mubarak’s government (of which Zahi Hawass was a prominent part). Oh, but there was also the “looting of the storage magazine in Qantara,” during which an unknown amount of antiquities were stolen, though 288 were reportedly returned. Hawass’s blog gives a uniquely skewed perspective on Egyptian lootings over the past weeks, not to be trusted, but certainly not to be discounted either.

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Flickr Images from Revolutionary Cairo

If Twitter has been dominating the discussion of social media and the current protests in Egypt, they aren’t the only social network filling the intertubes with oodles of information created by everyday people, media professionals, and governmental forces.

Sure the other social media channels have suffered because of the internet clampdown that made their use near impossible but now that the country of Egypt is (kinda) connected again to the World Wide Web, we can go beyond Twitter’s textual minimalism to explore more vivid realities, notably Flickr.

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Unverified Tweets: Egyptian Museum In the Middle of Turmoil [UPDATING…]

The information is coming fast and furious via regarding the Egyptian Museum and the attack of protesters by pro-government authorities in Tahrir Square. So we are compiling a list of tweets to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening on the ground. Many of these tweets are from Tahrir Square, and others, like @SultanAlQassemi, are from elsewhere but from people monitoring the situation very closely. We have also added some Twitter commentary from others. Here they are unverified and unedited, and (mostly) in chronological order.

[UPDATE]: Museum has been attacked with molotov cocktails, no verified reports of the museum actually on fire, though rumors fly.

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Smithsonian Regents Board Report Waffles on Controversy; Clough Won’t Go [UPDATED]

The Smithsonian Board of Regents met on January 31st with Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough to discuss the fallout from the recent censorship scandal at the National Portrait Gallery. In its released report, the Board fails to make a strong statement against the censorship but suggests several ways forward for better practice in the future. Secretary Clough isn’t going anywhere.