Former Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Al-Damaty said that attempting to retrieve the Egyptian artifacts from abroad is not in Egypt’s favor.
Al-Damaty stated during a seminar in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria that the presence of Egyptian artifacts abroad is good to represent Egypt abroad and considered as a propaganda for it, particularly that several museums abroad are named after Egypt. The minister said that these artifacts act as Egypt’s ambassadors abroad.
As for the theft of artifacts, Al-Damaty said that these crimes have existed since the Pharaonic era. He added that they were legal at certain periods when laws allowed their exportation and legal purchase. These periods are when the majority of our artifacts went abroad.
Al-Damaty further added that the relations weren’t strong between Egypt and the other international organization including UNESCO following 2010, and that wasn’t in Egypt’s favor. However, these relations have started to enhance in the past few months.
The former Minister said that several restorations projects to Museums and artifacts have been suspended following the 25 January 2011 revolution.