A collection of 240 ancient Egyptian artefacts that were illegally smuggled out of the country have arrived in Cairo from France.
The collection includes objects from various eras, among them 49 heart-shaped onyx amulets, limestone stelae depicting an offering scene to the deities Isis and Osiris, as well as wooden painted statuettes of sailors, gold rings and necklaces. A collection of wooden ushabti figurines and clay vessels of different sizes are also included, as well as a number of Graeco-Roman metal coins.
Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that these objects were illegally smuggled out of the country after illicit excavations at sites around Egypt, but the ministry of antiquities had managed to prove Egypt's ownership of them.
He asserted that over the last two days Egypt has repatriated 380 objects from the United States and France which "highlight the ministry's efforts to preserve Egypt's heritage and return stolen object to their homeland."
All the objects, Eldamaty said, are to be restored and put on temporary display at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.