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Egypt's Repatriation of Antiquities head resigns

Director-general of Repatriation of Antiquities Department resigns, citing lack of cooperation from other departments at Ministry of State for Antiquities

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 5 Jun 2013
Nahas
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The director-general of the Repatriation of Antiquities Department (RAD) at the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) has resigned.

Osama El-Nahas said he made the decision because a lack of cooperation by other departments at the MSA left him unable to carry out his duties.

El-Nahas submitted his resignation to Antiquities Minister Ahmed Eissa on Wednesday.

El-Nahas told Ahram Online that since he had joined the department in December 2012 his work had been stifled by the failure of other MSA departments to cooperate with him.

Most MSA departments failed to provide RAD with detailed information to help us establish an accurate database of lost artifacts, El-Nahas said. The other departments also failed to help RAD produce a list of sales at foreign auction halls.

MSA departments also failed to provide documents concerning police reports on thefts, the identity of missing objects or details on MSA ownership.

These documents, El-Nahas said, are of great importance for preventing auction sales and retrieving lost artifacts. But, he went on to say, RAD created and executed its own new working technique in order to recover illegally smuggled antiquities.

In the first year, El-Nahas said, RAD recovered 71 objects.

"Although such work was praised by the foreign ministry and international authorities, no concrete collaboration was shown by other departments at the MSA," El-Nahas said.

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