Priceless Egyptian artefacts feared destroyed in South London museum fire
Priceless ancient Egyptian artefacts are feared lost forever after a fire gutted the museum building they were housed in.
A coin from Queen Cleopatra's reign during 51 to 30BC as well as mummies, fragments of tombs from Thebes and stones inscripted with hieroglyphs may have been destroyed in the blaze which raged for nearly five hours at the Cuming Museum in Southwark yesterday afternoon.
Firefighters say they have managed to save more than 500 objects that were on display in the museum, which was founded by the Cuming family in 1906 and is famed for its 100,000-strong collection of pieces from around the world over the course of more than a century. (..)
Adrian Whittle, head of cultural services at Southwark council, said: "Only about one per cent of the collection is on display at any time and the rest is held in storage, so the majority of the artefacts are safe. "We are still waiting to get into the museum so we can see the extent of the damage. We just don't know what has been lost yet."