Following comprehensive diplomatic efforts between Egypt and Belgium, Leuven University has agreed to return a 35,000-year-old human skeleton to Egypt which it has held since 1980.
The skeleton came into the possession of the university according to the division law. The law allowed foreign missions to have a share in the artefacts they discovered at archaeological sites in Egypt.
Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty explained that the skeleton was unearthed in the Nazlet Khater area of the Upper Egyptian city of Sohag during an excavation by the Leuven University archaeological mission.
After diplomatic efforts, he continued, the university agreed to return the skeleton because it is a very important artefact in the history of Egypt.
Ali Ahmed, head of the Stolen Antiquities Recovery Section, told Ahram Online that the skeleton will arrive next week and a committee is now studying how to put it on display at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.