The thriller Art Theft in Egypt (Kunstroof in Egypte) is the second novel of Dutch Egyptologist Huub Pragt. He made his debut as a writer in 2008, with his novel The Hidden Tomb (De verborgen tombe). This book is about the discovery of the tomb of the Pharao and High Priest of Amun Menkheperra from the 21st dynasty.
Art Theft in Egypt starts at the end of January 2011, when a spontaneous protest breaks out in Egypt. It will enter history as the Facebook Revolution. The historical events form the setting of this disconcerting thriller ‘Kunstroof in Egypte’.
At Tahrir Square in Cairo and in many other cities each day thousands of demonstrators come together. They demand the resignation of the president. During the height of the people’s revolt a break in happens at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Television images of the destruction in the museum and the damage to the gilded statues of Tutankhamun shock the world. Thanks in part to confusing statements by the Minister of Antiquities, mystery surrounds the objects that are missing. In this thriller the reality of the Egyptian revolution and fiction are mingled to a surprising result.
British Egyptologist Kevin Savernake, his French colleague Isabelle Montet and their friends Marc Spencer and Waldo van Elst distrust the reporting around the break in. It can’t be just coincidence that almost all the missing objects date from the Amarna Period. It is largely known that Rosanne Mubariz, the wife of the president, is fond of the art of Akhenaton and Nefertiti. Or did the Minister of Antiquities hide the top pieces on a safe spot because of the uncertain situation in the country? In any case there is much more going on then Minister Mahmud el-Hadidi presents to the Egyptian people and the international press. Who is really behind this art theft? The friends go in search of the truth, but they will pay a high price in the end.