Cairo Airport authorities foil smuggling attempt

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 27 Feb 2012

Antiquities Seizures Unit abort British couple's attempt to smuggle 19 genuine artifacts

the confiscated objects

The Antiquities Seizures Unit (ASU) arrested a British couple trying to smuggle 19 artifacts dated to different archaeological eras at Cairo International Airport on Sunday.

Hassan Rasmi head of the ASU said that these objects include five clay and green faience ancient Egyptian Ushabti (funerary figurines) each nine centimeters tall, clay pots with human-shaped heads, Late Period lamps decorated with winged amulets and the goddess Isis, Ostraca (inscribed stone reliefs), Graeco-Roman bronze coins and Coptic manuscripts, and a Bible.

In collaboration with the customs police, the objects were confiscated and transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square where it would be subjected to archaeological examination and restoration.

Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that among the most distinguished confiscated item is a 16th century volume of the Bible written in English. He added that when the police arrested the couple, the woman smashed and broke three of the artifacts.


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