Egypt foils smuggling attempt of 8 ancient Islamic artefacts to Lebanon

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities received eight ancient Islamic artefacts that have been confiscated at Badr harbor last October.

The pieces, which were confiscated during a smuggling attempt to Lebanon, have been put on display in the Islamic Art museum in Bab Al-Khalq, Cairo, according to Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page.

Head of Central Administration of Archaeological Units in Ports Ahmed Al- Rawy said that the confiscated pieces include six ceramic artefacts that date back to to the nineteenth century, including a vase, a tea set and two metal punnets on which King Farouk’s crest engraved.

Head of Antiquities department in Customs Mamdouh Abu Nar announced that he has formed a specialized committee tasked with receiving the pieces and placing them in the Islamic Art Museum till investigations are concluded.

Smuggling antiquities from Egypt has been a problem for a long time. In December 2017, Parliament’s Culture and Media Committee approved a bill  intensifying the penalty for smuggling antiquities to life imprisonment and a fine up to LE 10 million ($560,100).

Egypt has retrieved smuggled antiquities from many countries. In March 2018, Egypt received a coffin lid from Kuwait after it was discovered inside of a sofa at Kuwait Airways cargo terminal. However, the problem of smuggling antiquities began much earlier in history. In April 2018, Egypt received remnants of a mummy that has been smuggled to the US in 1927.

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