8 artifacts stolen from Egypt's National Museum

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Eight important pieces of ancient Egyptian artifacts were found missing from Egypt's National Museum in Cairo, Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass said Sunday.

The missing pieces include "a gilded wood statue of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess," and parts of another gilded wood statue of the king, Hawass said in a statement.

A group of archaeological experts assigned for renovating all the artifacts damaged during the protests have finished their work but discovered the loss of eight pieces of monuments, which might be stolen when thugs stormed the museum.

The investigation into the missing artifacts has already been launched, Hawass said in the statement.

Looters broke into the museum near the Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on Jan. 28 when the mass anti-government protests drove the police out of the streets.

The state ministry of antiquities will issue a comprehensive statement Monday about the lost pieces and the completion of the renovation of the monuments.

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