Authorities foil Nasser artifacts smugglers

Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced Thursday that a special ministry unit had foiled an attempt to smuggle belongings of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser to the UAE.

He said members of the Archaeological Seizures Unit, affiliated with the Attaba post office, examined parcels slated to be mailed to the UAE only to discover several rare and valuable items belonging to the late president.

Ibrahim added that the artifacts may not fall under laws protecting ancient monuments, but they still represent one of the most important periods in Egypt's history.

The Public Prosecution is preparing to investigate the scheme to find the perpetrators.

Hassan Rasmy, director of the Central Administration for Archaeological Units, said the pieces seized included Nasser's camera, a wide collection of his original speeches and recordings from the short-lived United Arab Republic period between 1958-1961, government medals and a set of Armed Forces' badges from the Nasser era.

Rasmy said the unit also found 127 photos of Nasser with Arab leaders. Another interesting find was a letter written by Nasser to a public figure during his time as prime minister under President Mohamed Naguib.

The letters included wedding and private party invitations dating back to the reign of King Farouk.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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