An Egyptian citizen tried Wednesday to smuggle three Coptic artifacts from Cairo International Airport to the United States in his personal luggage.
Airport police and customs succeeded in aborting the smuggling attempt, detaining the Egyptian for investigation and seizing the artefacts.
The Archaeological Unit at the airport examined the pieces and approved their authenticity.
Ahmed El-Rawi, head of the unit, said that two of the three artefacts are carved in wood while the third is made of iron with a wooden frame.
The three artefacts depict the Virgin Mary holding Jesus in her hands, Jesus sitting on a cloud, and two ladies in front of each other with the a cross in one hand and a palm in the other.
Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said the artefacts will be transferred to the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo for restoration and to trace their origin. He also suggested putting them on display at the museum for two months.