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France returns 240 illegally smuggled artefacts to Egypt

Ancient Egyptian artefacts arrive in Cairo after being stolen from sites across Egypt and smuggled to France

Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 26 Apr 2015
coins and amulets
Coins and amulets
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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.

Vessels
Vessels

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.

Gold jewelleries
Gold jewelleries

 

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neil
26-04-2015 08:29pm
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a difficult task
I've seen these artifacts, or one's like them, often enough. Farmers looking to 'get rich quick' spend a good deal of time digging for Pharaohnic treasure. Then they and/or agents take me on "James Bond' adventures to a remote farmhouse, to have me look at there trinkets. They want me to either tell them if it's authentic, or to pay them a million to put it in my museum. I don't tell anyone, first because all I've seen in person is stuff like this. I know people who know the whereabouts (farmer's field) where gold mummies and pairs of obelisks are buried, which I would report if I saw them in person, if the government agreed to put them in my museum. But only after I knew who to trust. There was actually a policeman at one meeting I had, who phoned in to check my ID. And why catch the lowest echelon? At least until recently, the organized smuggling went all the way up to the top, to a certain relative of a certain former President.
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