Egypt's antiquities ministry succeeded in recovering the stolen relief of King Nectanebo II of the 30th dynasty that was smuggled out of Egypt over a decade ago.
Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, the supervisor-general of the Antiquities Recuperation Department, told Ahram Online that the object was stolen from a temple in the Saqqara necropolis during the 1990s.
The whereabouts of its location was not known until early last week when the Antiquities Recuperation Department noticed the relief on the selling list of an auction hall in Paris.
The ministry, Gawad continued, took all the necessary legal procedures to stop the sale of the relief after proving its possession. The Parisian hall halted the relief's sale and withdrew it from the auction and handed it over to the Egyptian embassy in Paris.
Abdel-Gawad said that the relief will return to Egypt within weeks and would be restored and put on display temporarily at the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Tahrir until returning it to its original location in Saqqara.
Gawad said the relief is carved in limestone and weighs 80 kilograms. It depicts the lioness goddess Sekhmet who is adorned with the sun disk on top of her head. The King Nectanebo II cartouche is also found beside Sekhmet.