Supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi have damaged ancient Egyptian statues in the Upper Egyptian city of Al-Minya. They have also looted more than 1,000 treasured historical artefacts.
Looters almost wiped out the Malawi National Museum: out of 1,089 artefacts that it housed, 1,040 are reportedly missing, Ahram Online reported.
An internal investigation by an archaeology committee revealed that statues too heavy to carry were deliberately damaged, Ahmad Sharaf, head of the museums department at the Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA) said.
"It is a great loss and I am really saddened by what has happened to such a museum," Sharaf was quoted as saying. He decried the attack calling it an "indecent action" and condemned pro-Morsi protesters for destroying the "nation's heritage and treasures".
Unesco will put all the stolen artefacts on its Red List to prevent illegal trading of the antiquities in the international market. The antiquity ministry plans to circulate a list of the missing artefacts among all Egyptian ports to prevent smuggling, Sharaf added.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters allegedly broke into the museum following the crackdown by security forces on two protest camps near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo that killed 638 people. The mosque, once a celebrated shrine, was also completely destroyed in the carnage.
In a similar rampage in Cairo during the Arab Spring in 2011 that deposedt Hosni Mubarak, a few anti-government protesters ransacked the renowned Egyptian Museum, which houses the world's largest collection of Pharaoh-era antiquities, smashing the heads of two mummies and damaging 10 smaller artefacts.