Egypt’s embassy in Bern, Switzerland received the ancient Egyptian Seven Sacred Oils relief within the framework of a bilateral agreement between Switzerland and Egypt prohibiting illegally importing and exporting antiquities, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty announced Thursday.
Saaban Abdel-Gawad, supervisor of the Repatriation Antiquities Section, told Ahram Online that the relief is dated to the Old Kingdom and is carved in limestone.
The relief was originally unearthed in 1996 in King Teti’s royal tomb at the Saqqara necropolis by an Australian-Egyptian excavation mission.
It includes a list of the sacred oils used in ancient Egypt including those used by the under-taker Anomeen.
Abdel-Gawad said that the relief was bought by a Swiss collector named Jean Claude Candour from a Belgian antiquities trader.
However, when Candour discovered that the relief was stolen and illegally smuggled out of Egypt in the aftermath of January 2011 revolution, he informed Swiss police, who took steps to return the relief to its homeland.
The Seven Sacred Oils relief
(Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)