Ahram Online (Nevine El-Aref)
The stolen artefacts were missing for over a decade until they turned up in Barcelona
After a thirteen year absence, nine ancient Egyptian limestone reliefs were returned to their original place in the Saqqara necropolis.
The story of the objects goes back to 1999, when the nine limestone reliefs were reported missing from their original location on the walls of the sixth dynasty tomb of a nobleman called Imep-Hor, located in Kom Al-Khamsin area in Saqqara, 15 miles south of the Giza plateau.
The reliefs are engraved with hieroglyphic texts showing different names of the tomb’s owner and religious chapters from the Book of the Dead.
Ahmed Mostafa, former head of the return antiquities department as the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA), told Ahram Online that one of these reliefs was found three years ago on the list of a well known auction house in Spain. The Ministry, which was then called the Supreme Council of Antiquities, asked the Spanish government to stop the auction as the relief was an Egyptian possession that has been stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country.