One of the great Victorian Orientalist poems, Ozymandias, was penned by Percy Bysshe Shelley almost two centuries ago in 1818. Substitute the name “Hosni Mubarakias” and experience the déjà vu that is Egypt, and indeed the entire world.

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

The memories of past kings and pharaohs are not sacred, as looters were able to enter the Cairo Museum and damage some of the objects there. Looting is as old as the pyramids. Such was the fate with most of the pharaohs’ well concealed (and conceited) wealth for the afterlife. Now the objects preserved in the museum are also in danger.

Egypt will survive the fall of its latest pharaoh, but right now the sneer of cold command is once again sinking in the sand.