A collection of nearly 5,000 Islamic, Coptic, Greco-Roman and ancient Egyptian artefacts have arrived to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) for restoration and display.
The collection had been in the possession of the American University in Cairo (AUC) and was given to the government last year.
The AUC had legally possessed the collection since the 1960s.
The artefacts were unearthed during joint excavations in the Fustat area led by the late George Scanlon, professor emeritus in AUC’s Department of Arab and Islamic Civilisations.
The artefacts were shared between Egypt and the American mission at that time. The collection was taken to the AUC, who had the right to possess the artefacts in accordance with the Egyptian Antiquities Law No. 215 of 1951, which had allowed foreign excavation missions in Egypt to keep 50 percent of their findings.
Ahmed El-Sherbini, supervisor-general of the NMEC, explains that the bulk of the materials consists of pottery fragments, such as bowls, ulnas, jars and lusterware vessels from the Islamic, Coptic, Greco-Roman and ancient Egyptian eras. Most of the materials are dated to the 10th and 11th centuries.
The artefacts give an insight into the technology used to create them as well as the artistic influences of the time.
The collection is undergoing restoration in preparation for being displayed at the NMEC within months.