Egypt had handed a collection of authentic metal coins to Iraq, China, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
The artefacts had been seized at Egyptian borders before they could be smuggled out of the country. The move came in accordance with a 1970 UNESCO convention to prevent the illicit transfer of cultural property, as well as with various governmental agreements and decrees.
The handover was by Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Ahmed Issa, and the coins were received by Iraq’s Minister of Tourism, Antiquities and Culture Ahmed Fakak Al-Badrani; China’s Cultural Counsellor Yang Ronghao; Jordan’s Ambassador to Egypt Amgad Al-Aadaliya and Saudi Arabia’s Consul General in Cairo.
Saudi Arabia received 133 coins that date to various periods from the reign of King Abdulaziz Al-Saud (1932-1953). Six coins that date to the reign of King Faisal I (1921-1933) were returned to Iraq. Four were returned to Jordan, dating to the reign of King Hussein bin Ali (1916-1925), and one to the reign of King Hussein bin Talal (1952-1999). China received 33 coins dating to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Ahmed Issa said that Egypt does not just preserve its own antiquities and cultural heritage alone, but also those belonging to other countries as well, out of a belief in preserving the heritage of the whole world and abiding by all international treaties and agreements.
He highlighted the important role of Egypt’s border guards and antiquities units at Egyptian ports in seizing stolen antiquities before they can be smuggled out of the country, whether or not they are Egyptian.
“Egypt has succeeded in returning several antiquities to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, China, Peru, Cuba, Ecuador, Italy, Switzerland, Guatemala, Spain and the United State of America,” Issa pointed out.
13 December 2022