Egypt top prosecutor tasks antiquities ministry with confirming authenticity of artefacts seized in Italy

Ahram Online , Monday 28 May 2018

Egypt TP
Egypt's Top Prosecutor Nabil Sadek (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek has tasked the Ministry of Antiquities with dispatching a team of archaeological experts to Italy to confirm the authenticity of seemingly ancient Egyptian artefacts that were seized from a shipping container at a port in Naples.

In an official statement released on Monday, the prosecution said that the Egyptian experts will work with Italian authorities to inspect the seized artefacts and prepare a report for the general prosecution.

The statement added that the prosecution has sent letters rogatory to the Italian judicial services requesting all documents and information on the matter.

Last Wednesday, Egypt's foreign ministry dismissed reports that the cache of 23,700 artefacts, which include 118 ancient Egyptian items, was discovered in a container belonging to an Egyptian diplomat.

The foreign ministry has said that the shipment belonged to an Italian citizen, according to information provided by Italian authorities.

Italian officials also promised to provide further clarifications on the container's departure date and the exporting party at the earliest possible opportunity, the ministry said.

Last Wednesday, Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, the head of the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry’s repatriation department, had said that the objects were stolen from illegal excavation sites, as there is no record of them existing in any Egyptian museum or store gallery.

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