One of the seized artifacts – Press photo/Antiquities Ministry
CAIRO – 4 July 2018: The Egyptian antiquities, restored from Italy on Friday, are presented at a temporary exhibition at the Egyptian Museum for several days starting from Wednesday.
Egypt received 118 ancient Egyptian artifacts that were smuggled to Italy on Friday, Egyptian General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek stated Saturday.
The statement of the general prosecutor affirmed that authorities of Cairo International Airport received the artifacts returning from Italy on Friday.
Italian prosecution in Salerno, Italy, agreed to return to Egypt the smuggled artifacts that the Italian authorities seized in Naples, Italy, in May.
This came in response to Egyptian prosecutor-general request to Italy to bring back the ancient Egyptian artifacts.
In this regard, Sadek issued a decision to send a member of the General Prosecution to Italy to supervise the procedures of returning the artifacts.
In the same context, Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani was tasked by the Supreme Council of Antiquities to travel to Italy to receive the artifacts.
Previously, the Italian police notified the Egyptian Embassy in Rome about the seizure of 23,700 artifacts of different civilizations, including 118 Egyptian pieces packed in parcels, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.
Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry’s Repatriation Department said on May 24 that the examination of the seized artifacts' photos, sent by the Italian authorities, suggested they are authentic antiquities, adding that the two countries cooperate to return the seized pieces to Egypt.
The seized artifacts include objects from different Pharaonic periods, in addition to objects from the Islamic era, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
Abdel Gawad said that the artifacts were not looted from museums; it seems that they were illegally taken from excavation sites. He added that the two countries will conduct a joint investigation to uncover the circumstances of the smuggling operation and arrest perpetrators.