Activists appalled by use of stone cutter to move archaeological pillar
Activists have circlated images of an archaeological pillar belonging to King Merneptah, the fourth ruler of the 19th Dynasty, that was being moved using a stone cutter and an electric screwdriver, causing damage to the pillar.
The pillar was transferred to the Cairo Citadel for restoration.
The incident occurred in 2008 and was covered up by officials, the coordinator of the Popular Front to Defend Antiquities in Egypt, Ossama Karar, said.
"Cracks occured at the base of the pillar, which is full of inscriptions recording the king's victories," Karar said.
According to Karar, the pillar is currently stored at the Cairo Citadel store.
Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector Mahmoud Afify denied that the pillar was harmed or damaged.
The pillar has been at the Cairo Citadel since 2008. It was restored and the Antiquities Ministry plans to transfer it to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will soon be inaugurated, according to Afify.
Director general of the Citadel's antiquities, Gamal al-Hawary, said the pillar is completely safe at the Citadel and is covered by wood and metal sheets to protect it.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm