Sharjah hands back 400 ancient artefacts smuggled out of Egypt
Nevine El-Aref, , Sunday 5 Nov 2017
The objects, from the Islamic and Pharaonic eras, are currently being examined at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square


Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities has received a collection of 400 stolen and illegally smuggled artefacts returned to Egypt by the government of Sharjah.

The collection of Egyptian artefacts was seized by the Sharjah police in the United Arab Emirates and sent back to Cairo upon the order of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al-Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

According to a ministry statement, Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany "appreciates the initiative launched by his highness Sheikh Al-Qasimi and the UAE authorities, which highlights his support for culture and preserving Egyptian heritage, a matter that reflects the strong and good relationship between the two countries."

El-Enany added that, once the artefacts have been unpacked and documented, they will be put on display in a special exhibition at the ministry.

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Shaaban Abdel Gawad, director-general of the ministry's Antiquities Repatriation Department, told Ahram Online that the objects are very valuable, most of them dating back to the Pharaonic period and some belonging to the Islamic era.

He said they include the following: a collection of painted false doors carved in stone; copper statuettes of ancient Egyptian deities such as Isis and Osiris; a collection of amulets made of faience; and udjat eyes made of copper and decorated with blue glass.

Fragments of diorite statues in the shape of sphinxes are also among the collection.

The artefacts are currently being examined and documented at the Egyptian museum, said Abdel Gawad.

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