Shoukry, Abdel Dayem and German Counterpart
CAIRO – 31 October 2019: Egypt’s Ministry of Culture praised Germany for handing the historical Archaeological Atlas of Sadeid, which was received by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry during a joint press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas on Wednesday.
This move comes as part of Germany’s keenness to preserve the different countries' civilizations and culture, Shoukry said.
Shoukry hoped that other European countries shoulder responsibility towards preserving human heritage, affirming that the restored historical book was a rare and valuable one owned by the Egyptian National Library and Archives.
Egypt’s Minister of Culture Inas abdel Dayem said that the restored book contains rare Ottoman maps, adding that the atlas was first printed during the ninth century, specifically in 1803.
Head of the Egyptian National Library and Archives Hesham Azmy made several serious and quick moves and contacted the German authorities shortly after knowing that the book was to be sold at one of the auction houses in Berlin for a huge price.
The Egyptian authorities then clarified that the book belongs to the rare collection of Egypt’s National Library, and that the selling process should be stopped.
The German authorities intercepted the selling and announced that the rare book is in its possession on October 17, 2018. For its part, Egypt sent all the legal papers and documents which prove that the book belongs to the Egyptian National Library.
On October 29, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez posted a photo of Shoukry, Maas and Abdel Dayem during the ceremony of the book delivery on his official Twitter account, affirming that the book was smuggled to Germany after it had been stolen from the Egyptian National Library and Archives.