Two pieces of antiquity retrieved form Israel have been handed to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square for restoration and display. The pieces, ancient sarcophagus lids, were given back to Egypt by Israel last week. Israeli authorities say one of the lids dates back to the 16th to 14th centuries BC, while the other goes back to between the 10th and 8th centuries.
Israel says the process of returning the antiquities to Egypt was made easier by “the strengthening dialogue between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Egypt in Israel.”
The wooden lids were smuggled to Dubai, brought to London, and ended up in a Jerusalem antiques store, where Israeli authorities found them in 2012.
Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, the general supervisor of the Antiquities Retrieval Department, told the media that both lids were stolen through illegal excavation then smuggled out of the country to Jerusalem via Dubai through an Israeli antiquities trader.
Mr Abdel-Gawad explained that the Israeli Antiquities Authority and the Jerusalem Interpol noticed both lids in the showroom of an auction Hall in Jerusalem in 2012 and the Jerusalem Interpol reported the incident to the Egyptian Interpol who in turn passed the information on to the Antiquities Ministry.
The two lids are carved in wood, painted with coloured cartonage and decorated with hieroglyphic symbols.
22 June 2016