Police at Cairo Airport prevented a large copper decoration from the Mohamed Ali era being smuggled out of the country on Wednesday.
The piece was hidden inside a box on a flight to Bursa in Turkey via Dubai. Police arrested the box’s Turkish owner.
Archaeologists at the Antiquities Unit at Cairo Airport authenticated the object and suggested it was taken from a larger Islamic monument owned by Mohamed Ali’s family.
Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said the artefact was a very distinguished piece of decoration with foliage and geometric patterns. It is engraved with a Quranic verse written in Kufi script saying “There is only one God and Mohamed is his Messenger.”
The piece is now at the Islamic Museum for restoration and to determine its original location.