CAIRO: France will repatriate a stolen statuette that dates back to the Pharaonic sixth Dynasty to Egypt in October, announced Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Mamdouh al-Damati in a statement Thursday.
The wooden statuette was stolen from the store of The Imhotep Museum at Saqqara, 35 kilometers away from Cairo, announced Damati.
“The repatriation process was achieved through cooperation with the Egyptian Cultural Office in Paris; the statuette possessor has shown a will to repatriate the archaeological object to the Ministry of Antiquities when he made sure that it had been stolen from Egypt,” the minister added.
The wooden statuette is about 33 centimeters in length and represents a lying woman with her arms stretching forward in a “very smooth position,” head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Restored Artifacts Department Ali Ahmed said in the statement. The statuette had been used a cosmetic tool for wearing perfume, he added.
A scientific committee was formed from experts of the Egyptian Museum to examine the statuette when it arrives in Cairo International Airport, Ahmed Continued.
On Aug. 4, Egypt repatriated a 35,000-year-old human skeleton that had been held in Belgium since 1980, state-owned news Agency MENA reported. On June 8, 2014, eight Islamic wooden art pieces have been repatriated from Copenhagen after a Danish court ruled that Egypt is entitled to recover them.
Egyptian security authorities arrested eight men involved in a theft of more than 50 artifacts from a store that belongs to the Graeco-Roman Museum in Alexandria. The stolen pieces include 20 pieces of pottery artifacts, 32 bronze coins and granite statutes, which date back to the Roman era.
The smuggling of many Egyptian ancient artifacts outside the country extensively appeared in the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution in 2011 when a political turmoil hit the country, leaving cultural heritage vulnerable to looting.