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800 priceless artifacts missing from Egypt warehouse

After UNESCO voiced concern for Egypt archaeological sites

Egyptian officials said on Friday that 800 priceless artifacts were still missing after armed robbers raided a warehouse near the canal city of Ismailiya in the unrest following a popular revolt.

"An inventory of the East Qantara warehouse which houses antiquities from the provinces on the Suez Canal and Sinai has revealed the theft and damage of a large number of artifacts," said Mohammed Abdul Maqsood, an official with Supreme Council of Antiquities for north east Egypt, according to AFP.

"We found that 800 antiquities - which go back to the Pharaonic, Roman and Islamic periods - are still missing from the warehouse after 293 items were recovered," he said.

Abdul Maqsood said the survey also revealed that "several" artifacts unearthed by French, American and Polish archaeological teams had also been stolen.

Robbers raided several warehouses around the country, including the one in Cairo's world renowned Egyptian Museum, after an uprising that forced the stepping down of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak gave way to looting and insecurity.

On Tuesday, the United Nations cultural body UNESCO voiced growing concern for Egypt's archaeological sites and museums.