Sunday, November 06, 2011

More information re return of items from Australia

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El Aref)

A collection of ancient Egyptian and Graeco-Roman figurines and miniature amulets are on their way home from Australia, reports Nevine El-Aref.

This week Egypt is celebrating the restitution of 122 ancient Egyptian and Graeco-Roman artefacts that have been recovered from Australia. All the items, which vary from miniature amulets to larger bronze statues from the Neolithic to the Graeco-Roman eras, were stolen several years ago from archaeological sites in Egypt. The handover ceremony was hosted by Egyptian Ambassador to Australia Omar Metwalli at the embassy premises in Canberra.

Mustafa Amin, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), told a press conference that the objects were hidden for almost a decade inside the storehouses of the Mossgreen Auction hall.

When the SCA learnt about plans to sell off these objects from the auctioneer's catalogue, officers contacted the Egyptian Embassy in Canberra, which on its turn contacted the Australian authorities with a request that the sale be stopped.

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