Sunday, May 25, 2014

BACK HOME: Artifacts Recovered from USA will be Home Next Month

A collection of illegally smuggled ancient Egyptian antiquities is to be returned to Egypt soon from the United States, reports for Al Ahram Weekly Nevine El-Aref, following the signature of an agreement with the New York customs authorities to free the collection of 103 ancient Egyptian artifacts in custody in the city since 2011.

Minister of antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim said the artifacts had been seized by US Homeland Security officials in New York after the American citizen who was traveling with the pieces was not able to prove legal possession. 

He added that because the artifacts belonged to different periods, they would likely have been stolen in the aftermath of the 25 January Revolution, when a lack of security overwhelmed the country leaving its heritage vulnerable to theft.

The objects include 99 coins from the Roman period, three Late Period limestone statues, a Middle Kingdom wooden boat and the upper part of a painted anthropoid wooden sarcophagus from the Third Intermediate Period depicting the face of a woman wearing a wig decorated with coloured flowers.

Two linen mummy wrappings covered with plaster and bearing paintings showing winged amulets pushing the sun disc are also among the returned artifacts. A hieroglyphic text bearing the name and titles of the deceased are on the plaster cover. A cartonage painted mummy mask from the Third Intermediate Period is also among the objects, which are due to arrive in Egypt early next month.

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