Sunday, November 09, 2008

Egypt gets back stolen antiquities from Spain

Egypt State Information Services

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has left no stone unturned to retrieve three stolen items from Spain as an SCA delegation will finally leave for Barcelona tomorrow to have them back.

Dating back to the New Kingdom, the pieces - a basalt statue of an unknown man, a fragmentary granite statue of an Egyptian noble man and part of a color-decorated wall of the tomb of Ken-Amun - had been smuggled out of Egypt, said SCA Secretary General Zahi Hawwas.

They have been on display at the Museu Egipci de Barcelona, before the SCA learned about them in 2004. The council then sent a committee to examine the looted pieces, confirming the SCA doubts; all three items are originals.

But the museum would not give them back and the SCA, having run out of all diplomatic means, launched legal action. It was only then that the museum gave in to the SCA demands.

The museum management pleaded with the council to supply it with imitations to showcase them in place of the three antiquities. Egypt has retrieved more than 5,200 stolen antiquities in recent years.

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