Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back Home: Stolen 18th Dynasty Relief comes home to Egypt

The restoration centre at the Egyptian museum received today the limestone relief, which was returned from Germany last week, after it had been smuggled out of Egypt sometime during the last century. The artefact was given back to the ministry on 6 August, after successful endeavours to regain it, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Al-Damati said.

Al-Damati said that the relief was examined as soon as it arrived at the centre and the process of restoration will start immediately. After the renovation, the piece will be displayed among other reclaimed artefacts in the museum, in order to show the efforts exerted by the ministry to protect our national treasures.

Ali Ahmed, head of the recovered antiquities department, said that the piece is a relief from the wall of the tomb of Sobekhotep, a senior treasury official during the reign of King Tuthmose IV.  The limestone relief dates back to the 14th century BC and depicts two figures of Sobekhotep making offerings to the deities.

The British museum in London has these pieces from the tomb of Sobekhotep
The artefact was in the possession of a German couple who collected rare antiques, who when notified that it had been smuggled out of Egypt, agreed to return it to Cairo. Museums in New York and London have portions of wall paintings from the tomb of Sobekhotep in their possession.

Perhaps the Supreme Council of Antiquities will demand their return and they could be placed back where they are meant to be – in the tomb of Sobekhotep, the treasury official of the 18th dynasty. Or instead of being on show in the US and UK, they can be placed on display in the country where they were created and where they belong - Egypt.
Source:  TNN 

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