Wednesday 27 April 2011

Cartoon Relief the Centre of International Repatriation Effort?

"After three years in custody at the customs office in Mexico pending bureaucratic paperwork and permissions, Egypt is soon to recuperate one of its genuine artefacts" says Nevine El-Aref ('Looted Egyptian artefact due to return this week from Mexico', Ahram Online 27 Apr 2011). "Ahmed Mustafa, head of the retrieved antiquities department, said that as soon as it arrives the relief would be restored in order to be put on display at the Egyptian Museum". Apparently
"The object is a New Kingdom limestone relief depicting an unidentified face of a private individual. The relief, which was illegally smuggled out of the country, is now at the Egyptian embassy in Mexico waiting to be brought back to Cairo as a diplomatic package. According to Zahi Hawass, minister of state for antiquities affairs, the relief was caught in the possession of a Mexican male who tried to enter Mexico with it. The police caught him red-handed and informed the Egyptian embassy in Mexico of the incident.
Well, if the pictured one is the items concerned, it seems to me the Mexican police have not got much of an eye. It looks like a dreadful tourist fake to me. Or is this a stock photo?

Photo from Al-Ahram (the best I could find)

UPDATE: Christine Fößmeier has posted elsewhere a link to this article from a Mexican newspaper with a better photo ('México devuelve pieza histórica a Egipto'). Sadly, it appears this was not a stock photo.
Sadly clearly a tourist fake.

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