Antiquities thieves have benefitted the most from the waves of riots and lawlessness in Egypt, and they are making fortunes. More treasures are being stolen and sold on the black market with every wave of unrest. Perhaps the most prominent looting incident was that of the Egyptian Museum during the events of Jan. 28, 2011.
That tragedy was repeated with the looting of the Malawi Museum when the Rabia al-Adawiya and Nahda squares sit-ins were broken up on Aug. 14 of last year, and in the looting of the Islamic Museum on Jan. 24. Those incidents have encouraged other thieves to loot antiquities sites by exploiting riots. Targeting museums and archaeological sites has become common during the riots, when security chaos keeps the police busy.