Friday, November 6, 2015

1,124 artifacts saved from smuggling at Damietta port: statement | Cairo Post

1,124 artifacts saved from smuggling at Damietta port: statement

Bust of a noblewoman. One of 1224 artifacts seized in Damietta port before shipping to Thailand. Antiquities Ministry Facebook page.

CAIRO: The archaeological unit at Damietta port foiled an attempt to smuggle 1,124 artifacts to Thailand, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty announced Thursday.

“The smuggling attempt occurred through an import-export company which hid the seized artifacts inside wooden parcels filled with toilet paper,” said Damaty.

The artifacts, spanning several periods of the Egyptian history, comprise several alabaster jars, offering tables made of granite, wooden and stone statues, silver and golden headrests and funerary masks, the minister said, adding the archeological sites from where the artifacts were stolen remain unknown.

The authenticity of the artifact was confirmed by an airport-based Egyptian committee of specialists, according to Damaty.

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 told The Cairo Post.