Thursday, May 3, 2018

Back Home, Cyprus: Egypt Restores 14 Smuggled Artifacts

Director of Cyprus' Department of Antiquities, Marina Solomidou,
handed over 14 artifacts to Egypt
CAIRO - 2 May 2018: Director of Cyprus' Department of Antiquities, Marina Solomidou, handed over 14 artifacts to Egypt on Tuesday; the artifacts were stolen and illegally smuggled from Egypt in the late 1980s. 

This came on the sidelines of the initiative entitled “Nostos: Reviving Roots,” which was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his Cypriot and Greek counterparts in Alexandria on Monday. In this regard, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani expressed his thanks to the Cypriot authorities for their continuous cooperation with Egypt to restore these artifacts. In the same context, Director General of the Retrieved Antiquities Department of the Antiquities Ministry Shaaban Abdel Gawad stated that the process of repatriation began in 2017 when Interpol conversed with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. 

Abdel Gawad revealed that these artifacts date back to the ancient Egyptian era. They were smuggled after the Antiquities Protection Law had been issued in 1983, and arrived in Cyprus in 1986.  He further remarked that the Ministry of Antiquities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and the International Cooperation Office coordinated to send urgent letters to Cyprus, stressing Egypt’s right to retrieve the artifacts, especially considering that the Cypriot law allows for antiquities trafficking. 

Abdel Gawad said that the restored pieces comprise of an alabaster vase decorated with the name of king Ramses II, in addition to 13 ushabti figurines and amulets of different shapes, sizes and materials, including amulets for goddesses Sekhmet, Neith and Isis. Upon invitation from the Cypriot authorities, Abdel Gawad travelled to Cyprus to inspect these pieces, which were kept at the Cypriot antiquities museum in Nicosia. Gawad delivered a lecture highlighting the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Antiquities to restore the smuggled artifacts and to make new archaeological discoveries in Egypt ..... READ MORE. 

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