CAIRO: Egypt has reclaimed 44 archaeological artifacts from France dating back to different periods of ancient Egyptian civilizations, the Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany announced.
French authorities have delivered the artifacts to the Egyptian embassy in France after six years of negotiations on the repatriation of the antiquities, El-Enany added.
Egypt reclaimed a total of 240 archeological artifacts from France last year, said El-Enany, noting that the 44 recent artifacts plus the 240 previous artifacts were seized in the Charle de Gaulle Airport in March and November 2010.
“The (44) repatriated objects: a limestone statue of a woman that dates back to the Roman Age, a number of spindles’ heads, earrings, crosses and wooden pieces shaped like hands that were used as musical instruments in the Coptic Era,” General Supervisor of the Repatriated Antiquities Department, Shaban Abdel Gawad, said in the statement.
In 2015, a total of 547 artifacts were repatriated from a number of countries including Switzerland, England, USA, Germany, Belgium and others, Gawad added.
On March 11, the Antiquities Ministry announced in a statement that it had received three artifacts that were repatriated through diplomatic efforts by the Foreign Ministry.
Egypt’s ancient sites have been targeted for many years, but the upheavals and the security lapse following the 2011 revolution have helped looters and tomb robbers target museums and several archaeological sites for treasures to sell on the black market.
During the past four years, Egypt has recovered more than 1,600 artifacts and is currently working on other cases in many European countries, former head of the Repatriated Artifacts Department Aly Ahmed told The Cairo Post last year.
Additional reporting by Rany Mostafa.