CAIRO: Tourism and Antiquities policemen have seized a set of 47 ancient artifacts at a house of a farmer in Upper Egypt’s governorate of Asyut, Youm7 reported Friday.
The seizure came hours before the artifacts were prepared for sale.
Spanning several periods of the ancient Egyptian historical periods, the artifacts in question include 29 coins, five pottery lanterns, 14 statues made of blue faience along with four incomplete statues made of clay.
Investigations carried out by policemen from the General Administration of Tourism and Antiquities Police revealed that the farmer was planning to sell the collection obtained through illicit digging activities.
After issuing the arrest warrant, the police raided the farmer’s house and were able to arrest him and seize the artifacts, Youm7 reported. The authenticity of the artifact was confirmed by a committee of specialists.
The 41-year-old farmer was referred to investigation over antiquity acquisition and trade.
Egypt’s political turmoil since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and its consequent security lapse left the country’s cultural heritage vulnerable to looting.
During the past four years, Egypt has recovered more than 1,600 artifacts and is currently working on other cases in many European countries, head of the Repatriated Artifacts Department Aly Ahmed previously told The Cairo Post.