Looted Islamic wooden beams return to Egypt

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 19 Dec 2013

Egypt restitutes Ghanem Al-Bahlawan Mosque's eight decorative wooden beams from Denmark after a court ruling

part of the pulpit

Missing for five years, eight decorative wooden beams, which had been severed off the pulpit of Ghanem Al-Bahlawan Mosque in Cairo's historic Al-Darb Al-Ahmar area, have been returned to their homeland.

Geometrical patterns embellish the wooden beams encrusted with ivory.

Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that the ministry had reported the theft of the beams in 2008 to local police as well as the Interpol.

In 2012, the Egyptian Embassy in Copenhagen reported that the Denmark Customs Police had uncovered a package containing the stolen items.

As Ibrahim pointed out, investigations revealed that the package had been dispatched from the United State to Switzerland via Denmark.

The MSA has now taken all legal procedures to recover the beams, the official continued, after having acquired a court ruling stipulating Egypt's right to restore the artefacts. 

Ghanem Al-Bahlawan Mosque, named after the Circassian Mameluk, was constructed in 1478 AD during the reign of Sultan Qait Bey.

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