By Mr. Curmudgeon
Like many Americans, I was glued to my television set last Friday watching events unfold in the streets of Cairo, Egypt. Then came the news that rioters set the National Democratic Party headquarters ablaze and my heart sank. As it happens, that building is right next door to the great Cairo Museum. It was announced that looters broke into the museum by smashing a rooftop skylight and repelling down ropes. They stole jewelry from the museum gift shop and even gained access to the King Tutankhamun galleries, breaking into glass cases containing gold-covered statuettes of Tut on wooden bases, which the thieves snapped off and tossed to the floor, breaking them.
Egypt’s Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass, announced that the thieves broke into the museum’s mummy room, removing two of the ancient pharaoh’s heads. They did not announce which pharaohs were desecrated. It’s worth noting that the mummy of Ramses II, who ruled Egypt for 66 years and that some believe was pharaoh when Moses led the ancient Hebrews out of bondage, is the mummy room’s most prominent personage.
According to news reports, the thieves were apprehended after the Egyptian Army, armed with tanks, eventually surrounded the museum and soldiers secured the treasures within.
But, strangest of all, the Reuters News Service reports that, “Cairo looters ransacked the Egyptian Museum ticket office searching for [American rapper] Lil Wayne concert tickets.” Could this be true? Could thieves who took the trouble to scale a building, break through a skylight and risk injury repelling down ropes, pass up an opportunity to make off with the spectacular gold death mask of boy king Tutankhamun in favor of tickets to see a vacant-headed American rapper?
Did they risk the severe penalties facing criminals living in a police state for the chance to hear Lil Wayne rap, “Ma sex is stupid, my head is the dumbest, I promise, I should be hooked on phonics”?
If so, Lil Wayne’s appeal to Egyptian youth is as big a mystery as the reason behind the building of Khufu’s Great Pyramid at Giza.