15/11/2013 04:33 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:56 GMT

Tutankhamun's Sister Is Missing: Priceless Egyptian Artifacts Looted From Museum

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, Damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor and in broken cases in the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk

Egyptian authorities have issued an international alert after the statuette of Tutankhamun's sister was stolen along with hundreds of other priceless exhibits when a museum was looted amid clashes between police and Islamists this summer.

The limestone carving – called Daughter of the Pharaoh Akhenaten – was stolen along with 1,000 other exhibits during the violent dispersal of protests in Cairo on Aug 14 and the killing of hundreds of Islamist supporters of the president, Mohammed Morsi.

egypt museum

Rows of display cases are broken and empty at the Malawi Antiquities Museum


Experts fear that the exquisite statuette, carved in the 14th century BC, was stolen to order under the cover of the riots and could now be sold abroad.

It was the museum’s most prized exhibit and was due to be transferred to a new museum dedicated to the family of Akhenaten – Tutankhamun’s father.

egypt museum

The thefts showcased the tenuous security in the provinces

More than 600 valuables have been returned or seized by police, but a collection of gold coins, statues of sacred ibis birds and the statue have still not been found.

Archaeologist Monica Hanna said: “I think the looters knew what they were taking.”

Relics of the Akhenaten era, source of the most celebrated finds of ancient Egypt, fetch the highest prices on the international black market and families of antiquities smugglers are known to operate in the area.

Robbers left just 46 items in the museum that were too heavy to carry off.

In the first days of the revolution in 2011 looters stole treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb on display at the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Intruders also broke apart two mummies, removing their heads, while the bones and even parts of mummies were left scattered where they had been dropped.