Egypt re­cov­ers hun­dreds of ar­ti­facts smug­gled to the US

The China Post - - LIFE -

Egypt said on Sun­day it has re­cov­ered 123 an­cient ar­ti­facts that had been smug­gled out­side the coun­try and were later con­fis­cated in New York.

Egypt’s ma­jor ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites were tar­geted for loot­ing af­ter the 2011 up­ris­ing that top­pled for­mer Pres­i­dent Hosni Mubarak.

Thou­sands of ar­ti­facts, most ob­tained from il­licit digs, later sur­faced on the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, at auc­tion and on web­sites.

The 123 ar­ti­facts to be re­turned were “il­le­gally taken out­side Egypt, and have been con­fis­cated by the U.S. cus­toms author­ity in New York,” An­tiqui- ties Min­is­ter Mam­douh al-Da­mati said in a state­ment.

“Egypt proved its own­er­ship of the ar­ti­facts and the United States has de­cided to re­turn them.”

The items were on a min­istry list of smug­gled items, and in­clude a group of colored coffins dat­ing back to the 26th dy­nasty, a stele from the New King­dom and sev­eral Greco-Ro­man coins.

Of­fi­cials say the ar­ti­facts will be repa­tri­ated in the next few days.

Egypt has signed sev­eral agree­ments that en­able it to re­claim such an­cient pieces af­ter prov­ing their own­er­ship and that they had been smug­gled abroad.

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