Egypt on Friday received 118 ancient Egyptian artefacts that were recovered by the Italian authorities in March, Cairo airport sources told Egypt's state news agency MENA.
The relics were among thousands of pieces of various national origins originally found by Italian police in Naples, the Egyptian foreign ministry said last month. The Egyptian collection included pottery vessels from different eras, sarcophagus parts, coins, and objects from the country’s Islamic period.
Egypt's antiquities ministry officials said the objects were found during illegal excavation, and no Egyptian museums hold records of the artefacts.
Egypt has dismissed reports that the shipment was discovered in a container belonging to an Egyptian diplomat and said it belonged to an Italian citizen.
Over the period from March 2016 to May 2018, Egypt recovered around 1,000 artefacts that had been smuggled to 10 different countries, antiquities minister Khaled El-Anany said during a cabinet meeting earlier this week.