To Steal a 10-Ton Statue, You Need a Crane and Luck

Three would-be thieves in Egypt had only one of the two
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2023 2:17 PM CST
Bold Heist Scheme Involved Crane, 10-Ton Ancient Statue
The statue or Ramses II that thieves tried to steal.   (Egypt's Ministry of the Interior)

It's not easy to steal a 10-ton object, as three would-be thieves in Egypt have discovered the hard way. Authorities there say they arrested the trio, who were trying to make off with a 10-foot statue of Pharaoh Ramses II, reports Al Jazeera. Police say the thieves were caught in the act near the city of Aswan with shovels, picks—and a crane. “They tried to lift the statue of Ramses II and excavate antiquities in the area,” say prosecutors. A tweeted government photo shows three men with blurred faces, along with the prone statue of Ramses.

It's not clear how far along the theft was before authorities stopped it, or if the statue was damaged in the process, per the Washington Post. Authorities say the men's phones had videos about excavations and ancient statues, and all three have been detained. Egyptian authorities have long struggled to protect antiquities at ancient sites, and Ramses is a big target. He ruled for nearly 70 years and proved to be "one of the most famous pharaohs of the 19th dynasty," per AFP. Scientists recently used 3D imaging to reveal what his face probably looked like, and you can see the resulting image Live Science. (More weird crimes stories.)

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