Interpol to publish photos of Egyptian artefacts missing post-revolution

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 12 May 2011

Antiquities minister, Hawass tells Ahram Online he doubts artefacts have left Egypt, but after the Interpol meeting today they will post photos internationally

The Interpol mission representative to Egypt, Stephen Tifaut and Egypt antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, focus today on how to help find and return the 1228 missing objects from museums and archaeological sites in the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution.

Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, the general supervisor of the minister’s office told Ahram Online that Interpol will publish photos of the missing objects in the international market, a measure that will help in recovering these objects. The rules governing the restitution of stolen objects are found in the 1970 UNESCO convention.

Interpol routinely follows-up with Egypt in its efforts to restituate missing objects and trace international antiquities traders, but this visit, according to Hawass, "is a security measure to help recover objects, if any were smuggled out of the country."

Hawass tells Ahram Online that he doesn’t think that any objects have left the country, as security is tight at seaports and airports.

UNESCO visited previously to inspect the state of the Egyptian monument following the break-ins of the Egyptian museum in Tahrir and several archaeological storehouses in Egypt.

Hawass highlighted the role of Egyptian youth in protecting their heritage during and after the revolution. He pointed out that if any other city in Europe or America would have suffered the lack of security on the Egyptian streets on a day such as 28 January - the height of the revolution - their museums would have likely been looted. However, Egyptian youth played an outstanding role in protecting the Egyptian museum and sites by forming human chains.

Abdel Maqsoud, and Gihan Zaki, MSAA director of international organisations, a number of police detectives as well as a representative from the tourism and antiquities police attended the Interpol meeting held on the Zamalek premises of the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs.

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