CEO and Founder of Past Preservers, Nigel J. Hetherington, is featured in the Guardian Newspaper’s article today on the looting and encouragement of the area around the pyramids of Dahshur.
Dahshur is home to some of Egypt’s oldest pyramids, and also to around 1,000 illegal graves being built by locals in a new cemetery on land seized since the revolution of 2011. The building of these tombs has stirred up a controversy amongst the archaeological and local community, as looting has also risen alongside the illegal building.
The location of the illegal tombs around the pyramids brings to the fore the debate surrounding Egyptia’s relationship with their own heritage. Nigel, points out that in regards to the pyramids “All they are is a cash cow for tourists, and if you’re not in that business, where’s the benefit? In the past you might have got a spiritual value, because your grandmother was buried there, and you were going to be buried there, or because your mosque was in the temple, and you went to that mosque every day.”
Despite the international media almost solely focusing on Egyptians as being the cause of the problem, many Egyptians are working hard to find a solution to this terrible situation. In response to this, a local community action group is planning an event to raise awareness about the looting. They state that, “The Dahshur youth are against the robbery and destruction of their heritage. Let’s protect it with love and respect. The Dashur community are proud of our heritage, and with pride we will defend it.”
To learn more about the event and see how you can get involved, please see their facebook page.