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Egypt recovers five Ptolemaic objects from France

Five Ptolemaic artefacts smuggled out of Egypt in the aftermath of Egypt’s 2011 revolution are to return home next week from France

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 5 Dec 2013
carttonage piece
Carttonage piece
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In collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and members of the French archaeological mission in Egypt, the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) was able to track five stolen Ptolemaic artefacts to France and recover the pieces.

Two of the objects were on display in an auction hall in Toulouse while the other three were on show at an antique bazar in Paris.

Ahmed Ali, head of the MSA's section for antiquities recovery, explained that the objects in Toulouse were stolen from the storage of the French archaeological mission of the Louvre Museum in Saqqara and included of two carttonage statues — the first depicting the god Horus’s fourth son, Imseti, in human form on a blue backdrop; the second a wailing woman.

The artefacts in Paris are carved in glass and include a head, a torso and an arm, stolen from the storehouse of the French archaeological mission in Al-Qantara East. The objects were excavated in 2010 in Tel El Heir in Al-Qantara East.

MSA Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said that the objects were smuggled out of Egypt due to a prevading lack of security since the 2011 revolution.

He said the artefacts would return to Egypt next week where they would be restored before being displayed at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.

Ibrahim told Ahram Online that the ministry is to recover from London soon an ancient Egyptian carttonage coffin that was stolen and smuggled out of the country and is now in the custody of Scotland Yard.

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