Stolen Ramses II statue head returns to Egypt

Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 21 Apr 2024

A 3,400-year-old head from a statue of King Ramses II, stolen and smuggled out of Egypt, has finally returned home this week from Switzerland.

 Head of king Ramses II


The artefact, stolen from Ramses II's temple in Abydos 30 years ago, was part of a group statue depicting the ancient Egyptian ruler alongside various deities.

It was confiscated in Geneva as part of criminal proceedings and handed over to the Egyptian embassy in Bern last July, explained Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, the head of the department responsible for the repatriation of antiquities.

It is now in the care of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, he added.

He emphasized the significance of this repatriation, highlighting the joint commitment of Switzerland and Egypt to combat the illicit trade in cultural property.

Mohamed Ismail Khalid, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, expressed gratitude for the combined efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Cooperation Office of the Public Prosecution Office, Swiss authorities, and the Egyptian embassy in Bern.

He stated that repatriation is part of the ongoing efforts by the tourism ministry to recover Egyptian artefacts smuggled out of the country.

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