Egypt denies sending sarcophagus lids to Israel for examination

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 23 May 2023

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities denied sending any ancient sarcophagus — a coffin, most commonly carved in stone — lids to Israel for examination amid a social media controversy over the alleged act.

Egyptian coffin lid undergoing a CT scan
One of two ancient Egyptian coffin lids undergoing a CT scan at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Sunday. Photo coutesy of Shaare Zedek Medical Center


Earlier this week, a brouhaha arose among Egyptians as a collection of ancient Egyptian coffin lids was shown, circulated in several social media posts, and examined by a CT scan in a medical centre in Jerusalem.

The posts claim that these coffin lids were transported from a museum in Egypt.

Moamen Othman, head of the Museums Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, denies such an allegation confirming that “it is unfounded.”

“Egypt did not send any artefact to Jerusalem, and all the treasured collections in the museums are safe and sound,” Othman told Ahram Online.

He also asked social media to wait to share any post until they know its credibility.

However, social media posts did not reflect the real news, as the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel online edition revealed that these lids were being subjected to a CT scan and were from the Israeli Museum’s collection.

Both news outlets published photos of the lids on Monday while undergoing the CT scans at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

According to the Times of Israel, the lids belong to a 300-year-old woman who was the ceremonial singer of Amun-Re, while the second belongs to an ancient Egyptian nobleman.

The CT scan was carried out to identify cavities found in the wooden lids.

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