Egypt's embassy in Austria received on Sunday a 26th
dynasty Ushabti figurine from Vienna before it was sold on the antiquities trading black market.
Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the statuette was recovered in collaboration with Interpol and the Egyptian embassy in Vienna.
The head of the antiquities repatriation department Ali Ahmed told Ahram online that the Austrian police caught a suspect in the possession of the artefact "red-handed" while trying to sell the figurine in Vienna.
The seller was not able to prove his ownership of the statuette and the police reported the incident to Egypt's embassy. The embassy in turn informed the antiquities ministry.
Ahmed said that during the last six months all legal procedures were taken to establish Egypt's ownership of the statuette so it could be returned to its country of origin.
On Sunday, Ahmed confirmed that the artefact was handed to the Egyptian embassy in Vienna.
Ahmed also explained that the figurine was originally stolen during illegal excavation work at Saqqara necropolis in Giza.
The statuette is carved in faience and belongs to a 26th dynasty noble called Huriraa.