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Egyptian antiquities chief: Historic legacy is under attack

Mamdouh al-Damaty talks to Al-Monitor about the recent controversy surrounding King Tut's broken beard and reports of a pornographic film being shot in the Giza Pyramid.
A guide speaks to a tourist near the Djoser's step pyramid in Saqqara, outside of Cairo March 5, 2011. Sites around the great pyramid at Giza, a Wonder of the Ancient World, the Sphinx and the cemetery at Sakkara have been nearly empty of tourists since a revolt started a month ago that ousted Hosni Mubarak and now Egypt wants visitors to return. REUTERS/Peter Andrews (EGYPT - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TRAVEL SOCIETY) - RTR2JGZU
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CAIRO — Certain reports in the press — such as the claims that the Meidum Geese painting is inauthentic or that the Djoser Pyramid collapsed during restoration — aim to destroy the legacy of Egypt's pharaonic history, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh al-Damaty told Al-Monitor in an interview.

The pyramid of King Djoser at the ancient site of Saqqara is one of the oldest buildings in the world, designed by Imhotep between 2667 and 2648 B.C.​ and belonging to the third pharaonic family. The Meidum Geese painting — often referred to as the Mona Lisa of Egyptian art for its aesthetic value — was found in the ancient tomb of Nefermaat, a nobleman, in the 19th century and is now on display in the Egyptian Museum. 

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