Egypt Retrieves Two Ancient Statues Smuggled From Belgium

Two ancient Egyptian statues smuggled to Belgium were returned to Egypt, six years after they were discovered in a showroom in Brussels according to The National News. One of the statues is a standing figure made of painted wood and is from the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt (2649–2130 BC). The other is of a man lying on his back with his arms folded over his chest and dates to the late Period (664–332) of pharaonic Egypt. It is a funerary statue known as an ‘ushabti’ that was an important component of ancient Egyptian funeral ceremonies as claimed by The National News.

According to Egypt Independent, In 2016, Belgian police reportedly discovered the statues on sale at an antiquities showroom in Brussels. They confiscated the statues after finding that the showroom did not have the legal paperwork required to own them.

In the presence of General Supervisor of the Repatriation Antiquities Department (RAD) Shaaban Abdel-Gawad and a representative of the Ministry of Interior, Assistant Foreign Minister for Cultural Relations Omar Selim presented the two pieces to the RAD at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Egypt’s tourism and antiquities ministry said Belgian authorities gave the statues to Egyptian foreign ministry officials in Brussels last year, after receiving the necessary order from a Belgian court.

Additionally, sixteen artifacts recovered in the US were returned last week. They included a piece of a wooden coffin with a layer of colored plaster depicting a woman’s face; a limestone slab decorated with hieroglyphs; and a scene of people making a sacrifice to the gods. Moreover, five pieces were recovered of linen cloth with drawings of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, reportedly a Byzantine illustration of scenes from the Book of Exodus as Egypt Independent reported.

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