Arts & Culture

Artifact Smuggled from Karnak Temple is Now Returned to Egypt

Artifact Smuggled from Karnak Temple is Now Returned to Egypt

Photo credit: Ministry of Antiquities

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities retrieved the stone-carved artifact dating back to 1500 B.C. smuggled from Karnak Temple from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 9 January.

The stone-cared artifact was on display at the Karnak Temple in Luxor. It was smuggled out of Egypt in September and was placed on display at an auction house in London.

Once found, the artifact was returned to the Egyptian Embassy in London who transferred the piece to the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt.

Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, General Supervisor of Antiquities Repatriation Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the antique carved the cartouche of King Amonhotep I, the second king of the 18th Dynasty.

The Egyptian Embassy in London, in coordination with British authorities, ensured the safe delivery of the artifact to the Egyptians. In the statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also praised the UK authorities for their cooperation and their concerns about preserving Egyptian heritage.

Smuggling ancient artifacts has been a submerging issue in country, especially in the last few years. In 2017, the statue of King Djedefre was illegally transferred abroad from the area surrounding the Great Sphinx. In August of this year, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court however ruled that the storage company based at Geneva Free Port should transfer the statue to the Egypt and start processing its documents.

According to the Swiss warehousing firm, the statue has been in the Swiss custody since 1958. Although the firm claimed that it was not from the Great Sphinx region and that the Egyptian authorities are trying “exploit” the situation, Egypt Independent reported that the company’s lawyer confirmed that the company will most probably not appeal the decision.

Nonetheless, there have been increasing efforts to prevent smuggling artifacts outside of the country in the past few years.

Egyptian Museum Receives € 3M Grant to Undergo Development
King Tut Exhibit To Tour Seven European Countries

Subscribe to our newsletter


Arts & Culture

More in Arts & Culture

In Photos: The Dior Show Brought a Night of Fashion and Culture at the Pyramids

Farah Rafik5 December 2022

Festivals Associated with the Journey of the Holy Family Now UNESCO Heritage

Mona Abdou1 December 2022

Through the Decades: The Evolution of Egyptian Film Title Designs

Farah Rafik30 November 2022

An Artist for Egyptian Women: On the Authentic Warmth of Zeinab Al Sageny’s Art

Farah Rafik29 November 2022

Beloved ‘Tintin’ Features in Temporary Photo Exhibition at NMEC

Sara Ahmed28 November 2022

Arab Actors Shine in Fifth Season of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’: Review

Farah Rafik28 November 2022

Arab Anthems: Music as a Powerful Tool in Cinema

Farah Rafik23 November 2022

Athar Lina: Promoting Cultural Heritage at Al-Khalifa Neighborhood

Marina Makary23 November 2022