An agreement signed by the Jordanian and Egyptian governments in 2015 to conserve and recover stolen cultural property and combat illegal trade in artefacts has borne fruit. On Sunday 25 December the Jordanian authorities handed their Egyptian counterparts 340 pieces of antiquity that had been smuggled out of Egypt and intercepted by Jordanian customs last year.
The artefacts include stone statues and ancient coins, and will be sent to the Egyptian Museum’s depot for clean-up and restoration.
A few days earlier, Egypt’s embassy in London received a limestone relief that had been stolen from Queen Hatshepsut’s temple in Luxor. Egyptian antiquities authorities had been able, together with the Foreign Ministry and the British Museum, to prove the relief belonged to Egypt.
Egyptian antiquities authorities said that the limestone relief, which is engraved with hieroglyphs, was stolen from the temple in 1975 and smuggled out of the country. It was put on show in an auction hall in Spain and a British antiquities dealer bought it.
Last year, US officials returned a number of illegally smuggled artefacts to Egypt, including a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus.
27 December 2016