The Tourism and Antiquities Police on Tuesday arrested several men, accusing them of last year having stolen an ancient Egyptian statue from the warehouses of the Memphis archaeological site, near the town of Mit Rahina 20 km outside Cairo, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty has said.
The suspects included an archaeological inspector from the site, who stands accused of having stolen the statue from the warehouse, before replacing it with a replica, and illegally smuggling it to Brussels, the minister added.
The ministry managed to retrieve the statue and bring it back to Egypt a few months ago, the minister said.
The suspects are being held in custody pending investigations.
Carved in limestone, the statue depicts a sitting priest and dates back to the Middle Kingdom, between about 2000 and 1700 BC.
The recovered statue