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

Threads of Hope: A Safe Haven for Disadvantaged Women in Egypt

Mona Bassel1 December 2021

Egyptian Henna: An Ancient Herb That Redefined Body Art

Mona Abdou29 November 2021

El Nokta: How Egyptians Use Jokes To Vent

Mona Abdou28 November 2021

Egyptian Blue: A Hue That Made History

Mona Abdou27 November 2021

Lentil Soup for the Soul: An Egyptian Comfort Food

Mona Bassel27 November 2021

It’s A Man’s World: Exploring the Double Lives of Arab Men Through Art

Mirna Abdulaal25 November 2021

Library of Alexandria: A Lost Millennium of Knowledge

Mona Abdou23 November 2021

“Isolation, Loneliness, Contemplation”: Photo Series Captures Rare Perspective of Egyptians

Mona Bassel21 November 2021