France returns five ancient artefacts to Egypt

4th December 2013, Comments 0 comments

France has returned to Egypt five artefacts from the Ptolemaic dynasty (300 BC) that were smuggled out of the country after the 2011 uprising, an Egyptian official said Wednesday.

"The team in charge of monitoring sales of artefacts identified five pieces dating from the Ptolemaic dynasty on Internet websites, two of which were being auctioned in the city of Toulouse," said Ali Ahmed, at the ministry of antiquities.

Three pieces are the head, torso and arms of a glass statue of a human stolen from where they were kept after their discovery by French archaeologists in 2010.

The other two pieces were stolen from a French archaeological storehouse in Egypt.

During the 18-day revolt that ousted Hosni Mubarak, several Egyptian museums were pillaged, including the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities near Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicentre of the demonstrations.

Numerous ancient objects were either damaged or stolen and later smuggled out of the country.

In November, Egypt said it recovered 90 artefacts that had been put on sale by a Jerusalem auction house. Others pieces have been returned by Britain and Germany.

© 2013 AFP

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