CAIRO: An upcoming auction by the U.S. based Sadigh Gallery will feature a number of antiquities that the Antiquities Ministry claims are fraudulent copies.
“Over 95 percent of artifacts sold through this website are not genuine even though they are sold with certificates of authenticity,” Sameh Daoud from the Antiquities Ministry’s Restored Artifacts Department told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
The gallery markets itself as a mail-order company specializing in ancient artifacts, jewelry, and coins from around the world, and has been in operation for 30 years.
“We showcase an extensive collection of various ancient Egyptian artifacts at our gallery. If you are looking to purchase an artifact from Egypt, you will find various forms of ushabtis [small statues,] scarabs, amulets, statues, fragments, and more in this section,” the gallery’s website reads.
“We [the repatriation team] are familiar with Sadigh as one from a long list of websites that we review everyday, looking for and tracking stolen ancient Egyptian artifacts on sale,” Sameh said.
He came across several posts on referral websites, showing dissatisfaction of customers after they received the items they purchased online. Most of the posts were negative with customers asking for refunds and calling on the FBI’s Fraud Department online to take an action, Sameh said.
“The Sadigh Gallery assures the authenticity of every artifact in our collection and offers a Lifetime Certificate of Authenticity with each purchase as well as additional information and documentation detailing the object’s origins and period,” Sadigh’s website reads.
“Our dedication to our clients’ satisfaction is backed up by our 100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee Return Policy,” owner of Sadigh Gallery Ancient Art, Michael Sadigh, wrote on the website.
Egyptian diplomatic efforts continue to focus on the rest of the auction houses spread throughout Jerusalem that publicly sell stolen Egyptian artifacts.