Friday 7 September 2012

More Ancient Coins Destined for Foreign Markets Seized in Egypt

coinsThe Egyptian authorities have stopped more smugglers who were attempting to profit from the illegal export of archaeological items from Egypt destined for the no-questions-asked foreign market (Nevine El-Aref , 'MSA aborted two foiled smuggling attempts of authentic coins' Al-Ahram Thursday 6 Sep 2012).  Two smugglers were caught by customs and police officers attempting to remove what the newspaper report stresses were a large collection of "authentic coins" through Borg Al-Arab airport in Alexandria. The coins were packed in two parcels mixed with a collection of commemorative coins within the luggage of two Egyptians who were travelling to Gheda and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. The first parcel was filled with 1080 coins and the second had 106 coins.
An archaeological committee lead by Hassan Rasmi head of the Antiquities Unites has inspected both confiscated boxes and finds out that only 134 of the 2266 coins are authentic and the others are only commemorative coins. Rasmi pointed out that the coins are dated to the Graeco-Roman, Umayyad, Ottoman and Mohamed Ali eras.
 Traditionally the piece ends "they are now at the ministry restoration labs for restoration and then put on display at the Islamic museum". I am not sure that 134 is a "large collection", nor is it clear from the text what display value they have.

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