France, Egypt to host symposium on antiquities smuggling
Antiquities - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: A French-Egyptian symposium on heritage and the protection of cultural property will be held Wednesday at the French Institute in Cairo, according to a statement on the website of the French Embassy in Egypt.

Supreme Council of Antiquities Secretary General Mostafa Amin and French Ambassador to Egypt André Parant are scheduled to inaugurate the meeting, which will tackle ways to curb the looting of Egyptian archaeological sites and cultural property trafficking, both of which are issues that have been on the rise since the January 25 Revolution and its subsequent security lapse.

Present at the meeting will be officials from the Ministry of Antiquities, archaeologists from the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology, and Egyptian and French policemen specializing in fighting antiquities smuggling.

“The meeting aims to strengthen cooperation between archaeologists, conservators and police in the field of heritage preservation, protection and recovery of cultural property to exchange real-time information to identify and list the stolen items,” said the statement.

Since the outbreak of the January 25 Revolution, Egypt has witnessed a notable increase in antiquities trading and illicit digging activities nationwide. Political turmoil and small numbers of underpaid guards have left the country’s cultural heritage vulnerable to looting.

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