The defendant stands behind the seized antiquities - Press photo
CAIRO - 20 February 2019: Tourism and Antiquities police managed to seize 15 Pharaonic figurines and 111 ancient Greek coins inside a house in Asyut, inhabited by a 33-year old man who, according to the investigations, attempted to sell and smuggle them abroad.
Investigations revealed that the defendant excavated a four-meter deep trench inside his house in the Upper Egyptian governorate to search for antiquities.
The 15 seized figurines include 10 limestone sculptures, with lengths ranging between 10-20 centimeters, the investigation revealed.
A specialized committee confirmed that the seized antiquities are authentic and ancient. The defendant admitted the allegations.
As per the law of antiquities, any excavations should be conducted after getting permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities or from the Tourism Police Department; then, a committee should be formed by officials from the two bodies to check the presence of ancient artifacts.
However, several illegal excavations have been reported recently because the owners of the archaeological sites are not compensated appropriately by the government.