Egypt tries to halt sale of ‘looted’ artifacts at UK, French auction houses
Nov. 21, 2015 16:00
By Rany MostafaCAIRO: The Antiquities Ministry announced Friday it has taken “all legal measures” to stop the sale of a set of ancient Egyptian artifacts up for sale in the U.K.’s Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses and France’s Mellon auction.
“The collection, spanning several eras of the ancient Egyptian history, includes, amulets, wall fragments, wooden and silver statues, stone jars, mascots and jewelry,” head of the Repatriated Artifacts Department Aly Ahmed told The Cairo Post.
Photos of the items in question along with others are shown on websites of the said auction houses, he added.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty has sent the photos to all museums, archaeological sites and antiquities storerooms across the country to check if those pieces were stolen from them or taken during illegal excavations so as to take the necessary measures to repatriate them, according to the statement.
Egypt’s political turmoil since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and its consequent security lapse have 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, Ahmed said.