Egypt arrests former MP for smuggling antiques
Security agencies “arrested a criminal gang led by a person, who had already been charged in four cases, for illegally searching sites nationwide … for the purpose of smuggling and selling antiques,” a- he declared.
A 5-minute video accompanying the statement listed the looted relics found in the possession of the men, including “two wooden tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, 36 different statues of varying lengths … 52 copper coins believed to be from the Greek and Roman periods … three slabs of black basalt. “
The flamboyant ex-MP, who was a member of the now dissolved party of former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, appeared in local media claiming to have touched on black magic and exorcisms.
Smuggling antiques into Egypt carries a life sentence and heavy fines.
On Wednesday, the Egyptian attorney general said in a statement that Cairo had recovered nearly 115 items stolen from Paris after a two-year operation in collaboration with French judicial authorities.
Although the statement did not specify the full contents of the treasure, an accompanying 15-minute video showed the head of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, explaining some of the artifacts dating back to “ancient Egyptian civilization through various periods ”.
These included pharaonic busts, a gilded statuette of Amenhotep III, and a small, colorful gilded coffin of the ancient sky god Horus, as well as pottery.
Cairo has announced several new major archaeological finds in recent years, hoping to revive a vital tourism sector battered by a 2011 uprising, insurgent attacks and the coronavirus pandemic.
The Egyptian authorities regularly unveil new discoveries and finds, sometimes without waiting for the opinions and scientific analyzes of archaeologists and experts.
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