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Egyptian museum robbed in Cairo unrest

CAIRO, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Allegations emerged Sunday that Egyptian police stole eight artifacts from the Egyptian Museum during mass anti-government demonstrations last month.

Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass issued a statement Sunday saying an inventory review showed eight pieces were missing and at least 70 other items had been damaged, the Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reported.

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There were also unsubstantiated reports from demonstrators that they witnessed police officers looting the museum after the unrest erupted Jan. 25. Police withdrew from the city's Tahrir Square after three days and were replaced by a largely passive military force.

Hawass said among the missing items were statues of King Tutankhamen that date back to 1327 B.C., the report said.

The minister said an investigation was under way and called for the return of the artifacts.

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