Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Stolen Ancient Egyptian Artefacts discovered in Spain

It has been reported (see also here) that eight (more? I am sure there was a story about this last year) fragments of limestone in the stock of a Spanish dealer near Barcelona were identified as stolen artefacts. They were seized by the Central Historical Heritage Unit of the Catalan police force after they were notified by Barcelona University Egyptologist Josep Cervelló thanks to a conversation he had with an Egyptology student. The freshly "surfaced" artefacts had been on sale priced between 2,000 and 10,000 euros. The objects "bore inscriptions that made him suspect they came from" Saqqara, the vast ancient burial ground by the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, south of Cairo. The reliefs pieces were looted from a tomb in Kom al-Khamassin, an enclave of the Saqqara burial ground where Cervelló had worked and as a result has since discovered other pieces stolen from Kom al-Khamassin in art galleries of Madrid and Australia. The inscriptions date from the 3rd Century BC and the objects were appaently stolen in 1999. They will now be returned to the Egyptian government. Aiman Zaineldine, ambassador of Egypt in Spain, congratulated the police force and professor Cervelló for their work in recovering the pieces.

PS. Maybe this is the earlier story I was thinking about.

[additional information from 'IEPOA collaborates in the recovery of eight stolen artefacts' 20.09.2010]

UPDATE: More details emerge here.

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