CAIRO (Xinhua) – Egypt has taken delivery of a relief carved with the cartouche of King Amenhotep I from London, which was about to be sold at one of London’s auction houses last year.
The relic was illegally smuggled, stolen from the museum of Al-Karnak Temple complex in Aswan back in 1988.
The ministries of foreign affairs and antiquities expressed their gratitude to the British authorities for helping the Egyptian Embassy in London for “bringing the antiquity back home.”
The relief was first noticed by a foreign archaeologist when it was put on sale in an auction hall in London.
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities managed to stop the sale of the artifact, carved in limestone and inscribed with the name of king Amenhotep I.
Since the beginning of 2018, both Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Antiquities have been playing an effective role in retrieving Egyptian smuggled artifacts.
In July last year, Egypt retrieved a collection of 195 artifacts, along with 21,660 coins, which were illegally smuggled into Italy last May. The artifacts date back to various periods from ancient Egypt to the Islamic era.
Egypt, one of the most ancient civilisations, has been working hard to preserve and retrieve its rich archaeological treasures, which will also help boost the once-flourishing tourism industry that has largely been affected by the political turmoil over the past five years.