Egypt urges sanctions on Toledo museum of Art

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 31 Oct 2016

The antiquities ministry has prohibited any future cooperation with the Toledo Museum of Art

The antiquities ministry has prohibited any future cooperation with The Ohaio Toledo Museum of Art for its "indecent" actions towards Egypt's cultural heritage which "violates" the code of ethics of the international museums committee.

Earlier this month, Toledo museum put on sale at Christies auction hall a collection of 68 artefacts from its collection from Egypt and Cyprus. The objects were sold late last week for $12 million.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the Supervisor General of the Antiquities Repatriation Department, told Ahram Online that the Ministry of Antiquities has prohibited any cooperation or dealing with Toledo Museum or any of its staff because the museum did not continue its international role as a cultural institution.

He pointed out that discussions through diplomatic channels are at full swing to stop the continuation of the sale and to recover the artefacts. Upon the announcement of the sale, the ministry called the UNESCO and the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) as well as Egypt’s Embassy in the United States to put a halt to the transaction.

Former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass is also set to send letters to UNESCO and ICOM urging them to remove the Toledo Museum from the international museums list. He would also send letters to all schools and institutions in the United States to encourage children not to visit the museum because it sells the world's heritage.

Hawass will also send these letters to a representative of Egypt's National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation.


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