UNESCO to help Egypt museum recover from blast

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm •  Published: January 26, 2014

CAIRO (AP) — A UNESCO team will travel to Cairo to assess the damage inflicted on a renowned Islamic art museum by a bombing targeting the nearby security headquarters, Egypt's Minister of Antiquities said Sunday.

The museum will also receive $100,000 from the U.N. cultural agency to help the museum recover from the explosion, which damaged much of the museum's artifacts, Mohammed Ibrahim said.

The truck bombing on Friday was one of four attacks across the capital targeting police that killed six people. The huge blast shattered the facade of the security headquarters, while propelling steel and ceiling plaster onto artifacts in the museum across the street.

Centuries-old glass and porcelain pieces were smashed to powder, a priceless wooden prayer niche was destroyed and manuscripts were soaked by water spewing from broken pipes.

Though a complete account of damaged artifacts has not yet been taken, Ibrahim said, the damages would mean serious losses for Egyptian and Islamic history.

UNESCO spokeswoman Sue Williams confirmed that a mission is being planned and that emergency funds of $100,000 have been set aside.

Inside the museum, glass from broken display cases and splintered woodwork littered the vast halls. A ministry worker wearing a white coat and rubber gloves picked through rubble, collecting broken pieces.

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