CAIRO – 7 June 2022: The Egyptian state attaches great importance to recovering smuggled Egyptian antiquities.
In 2021, the Egyptian state succeeded in recovering countless artifacts that were illegally smuggled out of Egypt. Some 5000 artifacts were recovered from the United States of America, 115 from France and 36 from Spain.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, represented in the Department of Recovered Antiquities, monitors all galleries of international auctions. Once the department discovers any of the Egyptian antiquities are offered for sale, all official procedures are taken immediately, in coordination with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
When proven that a piece has been illegally smuggled, all measures are taken with the International Interpol, and in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its return. The Department of Recovered Antiquities immediately addresses the exhibitor of the piece to determine the legality of its possession.
What is the reason behind smuggling these pieces and displaying them at international auctions? Most of these pieces are obtained as a result of stealth excavations. That is why the Department of Recovered Antiquities is undertaking extensive measures to freeze the activity of antiquities dealers, usually by signing several agreements with a number of countries, as a solution to stop displaying smuggled Egyptian artifacts in international auctions.
Indeed, an agreement was signed between Egypt and the United States of America on December 1, 2016 to place restrictions on the export and import of antiquities to and from the United States of America, as it is considered the largest market for the Egyptian antiquities trade in the world.