Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Frenchman's Attempt to Smuggle Islamic, Coptic Artefacts Thwarted

Al-Masry Al-Youm reports:

Cairo airport authorities on Tuesday stopped an attempt to smuggle ancient Islamic, Coptic relics and manuscripts out of Egypt. In a statement, the airport said a French national tried to send a package via cargo. When officials inspected the package, they found the artifacts and relics inside. The statement added that a committee of archaeological experts said the artifacts were stolen. The Public Prosecution was notified to start investigations and a report was filed.
The text was accompanied by the following photo:
It would be helpful if the agencies announcing their success to the media would provide them with photos of the items concerned to accompany their articles. The article is instead illustrated by a fuzzy photo of what look for all the world like 'Tanagra' figurines of the 4th cent. BC and not anything Islamic or Coptic. This is obviously a stock photo used because the journalists think it looks about right and is very nice.

I wonder what the adjective "stolen" means here, removed from a museum storeroom, or freshly and illegally dug-up?

UPDATE: Half an hour after posting this, the article disappeared from the online version of the paper and it seems not to be mentioned anywhere else. Was it a false report (there seem to be quite a few of those from Egypt, don't there)? Was some kind of an agreement reached to keep the news out of the papers? Maybe the objects were found out to be tourist fakes? Who knows? But I'll leave it up for the moment with the proviso that there may be some doubts about the veracity of the report...

FURTHER UPDATE Later in the evening Al-Ahram carried the story, but the original report from Youm remains hidden.

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