Combating Illegal Smuggling: Egypt’s Ongoing Mission to Preserve Its Heritage

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Egypt’s artifacts and monuments have been illegally seized and smuggled from their home country for years, and to this day, it remains an issue that the country faces. Artifacts such as jewelry, large statues, and stone steles among others, made their way out of Egypt legally, while others were smuggled or transferred illegitimately.  “All artifacts that have left Egypt illegally will eventually return to their homeland,” Shabaan Abdel-Gawad, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry’s Repatriation Department, stated. He emphasized that all state agencies are making intensive efforts to recover these artifacts. In the last couple of years, Egypt has repatriated thousands of artifacts from various countries, many of which are in Europe.  Italian police forces recovered 118 artifacts in 2018 as they made their way to Salerno, and according to Abdel-Gawad, they were most likely acquired through illegal excavations. In 2021, the country recovered 5,300 artifacts from the Museum of the Bible in the United States, according to Abdel-Gawad. Additionally, a fragment of a statue of King Ramses II was recovered from Switzerland this April. Still, major artifacts are displayed at major museums worldwide. The British Museum in the United…

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Source: egyptianstreets