All 24 of Egypt's museums and cultural institutions have reopened to the public after protests and violence forced them to close temporarily during the revolts that toppled the Mubarak regime.

Since 1990 the Egyptian Museum in Cairo has been located at Tahir Square which was the centre of much of the protests. The museum, home to some 100,000 items, has confirmed that it lost 18 artefacts including two gilded wooden statues of the boy king Tutankhamun, statues of the pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Queen Nefertiti, and a sandstone head of a princess from Amarna in the southern province of Minya.

Minister of state for antiquities Zahi Hawass stated that the break-in at the Egyptian Museum happened on 28 January and that the thieves, who appear to have entered from the ceiling, were looking for gold. Some 70 artefacts were found thrown on the museum floor, 25 of which were damaged and are now being restored by a team of experts. Meanwhile the police and army have detained a number of people in custody and are questioning them in relation to the thefts.

The day after the looters' destruction, dozens of Egyptians formed a human chain around the museum to ward off further looting. It has been reported that the first tourists who visited the re-opened Egyptian museum were presented with roses by staff members.