Egypt recovered a collection of antiquities that had been illegally smuggled out of the country to France. The collection includes 239 ancient Egyptian, Ptolemaic, Byzantine and Islamic items.
Egypt's antiquities minister, Mamdouh Eldamaty, told Ahram Online that the returned objects were part of a larger collection of 302 artefacts that were illegally smuggled to France. Curators of the Louvre inspected the artefacts and approved the authenticity of 239 objects, with the others deemed replicas.
Egypt is asking for the return of all the objects including the replicas in order to inspect them, the minister said, adding that the collection is to arrive in Egypt next week.
Ali Ahmed, director of the ministry's antiquities restoration department, said the artefacts include painted wooden statuettes of ancient Egyptian sailors, part of a larger statue of a funerary boat, and a limestone relief depicting an offering table for the deities Osiris and Isis. Also included in the collection were amulets, ushabti figurines and clay pots, along with Roman, Byzantine and Islamic coins.