Monday 2 April 2012

Eighty Seized Artefacts Return to Egypt from Brussels

This does not look like an April Fool, but note the date. Osama El-Nahas (Director General of the 'Returned Antiquities Section' at the Antiquities Ministry), told Ahram Online that the more artefacts would be returning to Egypt "within days" (Nevine El-Aref, 'Egypt smuggler caught in Brussels, 80 artefacts to return home' Al-Ahram, 1 Apr 2012 ). A Belgian court of appeal reportedly ordered the return to Egypt on Sunday(?) of 80 artefacts stolen and smuggled out of the country in April 2010. They were allegedly seized when customs officials at Brussels airport caught an Egyptian woman trying to smuggle the small objects inside two large wooden replica statues.
The collection includes 11 small wooden and limestone statuettes, 11 amulets, 27 scarabs from the ancient Egyptian era, Islamic cylindrical seals, a Coptic child's garb, a small decorated piece of textile, a lion-shaped Ptolemaic pot and a prehistoric clay pot.
The objects were seized. After officials from the national museum pronounced them authentic, the case was sent to court.
In collaboration with the Egyptian embassy in Brussels, Egypt claimed possession of the confiscated collection and won a court verdict to recover them, said Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim.
The fate and identity of the smuggler were not revealed.

UPDATE 6th May 2012

 MENA, 'Belgium returns 80 smuggled artifacts to Egypt', Egypt Independent Sun, 06/05/2012

1 comment:

Dorothy King said...

A few years back the Greek Archaeological Service issued a press release on the 1st April confirming that they had found in a cave on the Acropolis: the bones of an elderly man, alongside a kylix with traces of hemlock. It was picked up by the international press the next day ...

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