Giza Pyramids - (Archive)
CAIRO - 4 May 2017: excavation has been maximized up to life imprisonment, with a considerable fine in addition, said Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anani Wednesday.
Anani added that the government discussed some amendments to the Antiquities Act in a cabinet meeting Wednesday. The suggested amendments will be submitted to Parliament.
In addition to increasing the punishments for trafficking and excavation, the amendments provide for the creation of a holding company to administer archaeological sites and approval from the cabinet to erect two departments for the Grand Egyptian Museum and National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Anani added.
A new Commercial Care system for the protection of archaeological sites has also been created.
Last week Giza railway police station arrested a citizen attempting to smuggle an ancient statue on a train. An X-ray metal detector revealed the antiquity on April 29. The criminal confessed that he found the 50cm statue in Ain Shams and was about to sell it.
In the course of the Ministry of Antiquities’ efforts to boost tourism, Anani said that among the new amendments the cabinet also approved a new article to toughen punishment for hawkers who disturb tourists by inflicting a fine up to 10,000 EGP ($552).
The government will allocate more than 1 billion EGP ($55 million) to develop and renovate archaeological sites, he said, adding that there are plans to hold iftar and sohour feasts during Ramadan at both Mohammed Ali and Manasterli palaces.
Ramadan, the Islamic holy month in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, begins at the end of May. Iftar, literally “breakfast,” is the sunset meal during which Muslims break their daily fast, and sohour is the last meal they eat before the sun rises.