Egypt foils smuggling of Jewish artefacts
Nevine El-Aref, Friday 18 Apr 2014
Boxes used to hold Torah scrolls, a silver knife and a chandelier are among objects seized at Damietta harbour


Police have seized a collection of Jewish artefacts and historical objects at Damietta harbour. The collection was found inside a parcel due to be transported to Belgium.

Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that early inspections reveal the objects are authentic and protected by Law 117 of 1983.

The objects reflect a period of religious tolerance in Egyptian history, he said. They are being studied in order to identify their provenance.

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Ahmed El-Rawi, head of archeological units at Egyptian ports, said the objects include 11 cylindrical wooden boxes used to hold the Torah. Each is 20cm in diameter and inlaid with silver foliage and Hebrew religious texts. They are covered on the inside with velvet.

Among the seized objects, he went on, are a silver knife dated to 1890 AD, a silver crown bearing Hebrew text, silver chandeliers and a collection of bells once used in synagogues.

The Damietta archaeological unit has asked prosecutors to take all legal procedures to trace the smugglers.

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http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/99357.aspx