Crisis in Egypt: Government Says Treasures Safe; Others Disagree

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"It's a little surreal being here, knowing what's going on in Cairo. There are troops around the major landmarks -- our hotel, the Winter Palace, would be a good target for vandals -- but you go out, you wave at them and they wave back."

King Tut in the Crossfire: Egypt's Crisis Affects Historic Treasures

"We're scared. We don't know what will happen," said Nancy Al Hakegh, who has been a tour guide in Egypt for 25 years. "I know tourism is going to stop for some time. God only knows how long.

"Whenever anything happens to a country, tourism is the first thing to be affected," she said in an interview with ABC News. "But we don't know how much it'll be affected, because we don't know what is going to happen. If everything calms down soon, the tourism industry will not be back and running normally until Christmas."

Egypt is caught between different currents -- a very modern conflict over how it should be governed, and a very ancient history threatened in the chaos.

"There have been some gangs," said Petty. "When you have a mob situation, it brings out the worst in people."

Brier said it is hard to get a clear overview of the damage.

"Everyone is worried," he said. "You can't repair a mummy. I'm sorry."

ABC News' Deena Sami contributed reporting for this story.

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