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Two Egyptian smuggled antiquities retrieved

Sanaa' Farouk

02 Feb 2017 10:32 pm

Egypt has retrieved two ancient Egyptian artefacts that had been smuggled out of the country during the unrest in the wake of the Arab Spring uprising in 2011.
The two pieces had been put up for sale in a London auction house.

An announcement from Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry said that the Egyptian embassy in London received the two pieces of antiquity on Tuesday 31 January.

The director general of the Retrieved Antiquities Department of the Antiquities Ministry, Shaaban Abdel Gawad, said on Wednesday that the two artefacts had been stolen from archeological sites during the security lapse that followed the Arab Spring uprising six years ago. They are made of glass and are shaped like human heads, but belong to two different archaeological sites. The first was stolen from an antiquities store at al-Qantara in Ismailiya region in 2011, and the second was stolen from the site of al-Sheikh Ebada in Minya.

Gawad noted that with the return of these two pieces, the number of retrieved artifacts from London rises to four. The first was received by the Egyptian embassy two months ago and is a wall fragment with inscriptions stolen from one of the walls of Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Luxor, the second was retrieved last week and is an Ushabti figurine that dates to the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt (2050 BC-1800 BC).

The four pieces, Gawad said, will return to Egypt in the near future.

Watani International
2 February 2017

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