Archaeologists and guards at Gabal Al-Silsila archaeological site, 20 kilometres north of Kom Ombo city in Aswan, succeeded in catching a group of thieves who in full view had tried to remove King Meneptah’s stelae from its original position on the wall of his chapel.
Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said the theft attempt was discovered late last night when permanent archaeologists at the site realised that four people were in front of King Meneptah’s stelae trying to hack it off the wall with an axe and digging tools. With the help of guards, archaeologists surrounded the criminals and caught them red handed. The Tourism and Antiquities Police came and took the criminals into custody.
Security guards foiled an attempt to steal an antique panel depicting King Merenptah, the fourth ruler of the 19th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, in the Selsela mountain quarries 20 kilometers north of Kom Ombo, Aswan.
Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali announced on Wednesday that four people were seen attempting to steal the piece, and were immediately detained by security guards in the area.
The tools they used in their excavations were seized, a report of the incident was filed and the four suspects were referred to the prosecution.
The tourism and antiquities police were notified of the incident.
The minister added that security was tightened in the area and the guards were rewarded for arresting the suspects.