CAIRO: An Attempt to smuggle 135 Islamic artifacts has been foiled at Damietta Port Saturday, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.
A total of 97 ceramic artifacts along with 38 wooden ones dating back to the Muhammad Ali Dynasty family (1805-1952), were confiscated. They were found in a container loaded with wooden furniture heading to U.S.
According to the initial investigations, owner of an Alexandria-based import and export company, to whom the container belongs, confessed he bought the artifacts without knowing they are subjected to “Protect of Antiquities Law.” He was referred to prosecution for further investigations Saturday.
Since the January 25 uprising and security turmoil Egypt saw after, many Egyptian artifacts were smuggled and looted. However, the Egyptian government managed to restore some of the smuggled antiquities.
Dozens of illegally smuggled ancient Egyptian artifacts that were seized by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been repatriated to Egypt, the agency announced in April.
Egypt restored smuggled artifacts, headed to be auctioned in Germany in March, while in July 2014, 24 ancient Egyptian artifacts were returned from the Egyptian Museum of Leipzig University in Germany.
Additional reporting by Rany Mostafa