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Egypt retrieves stolen relief carved with cartouche of King Amenhotep I from Karnak temple
Relic illegally smuggled, stolen from museum of Al-Karnak Temple complex, in 1988
Published in Daily News Egypt on 25 - 09 - 2018

Designated as the year of retrieving hundreds of smuggled artefacts, Egypt is to receive 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 this year. The artefact is to land in Egypt within days, after the Egyptian Embassy in London received it last week.
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 severe gratitude to the British authorities for helping the Egyptian Embassy in London for "bringing the antiquity back home."
In a press release, the ministries added they are looking forward to further cooperation between the two sides, in order to "preserve the cultural heritage of Egypt, and humanity's heritage on a larger scale."
Supervisor General of Antiquities of the repatriation department Shabaan Abdel Gawad told state media outlet, Ahram Online that, "the relief was first noticed by a foreign archaeologist a few months ago, when it was put on sale in an auction hall in London."
He added that the archaeologist was the one who also recognised that the relief was stolen from Al-Karnak Temple, as it "is 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 artefacts.
In July, Egypt retrieved a collection of 195 artefacts, along with 21,660 coins, which were illegally smuggled into Italy last May. The artefacts date back to various periods from ancient Egypt to the Islamic era.
The return of the antiquities came during the same month, and the Ministry of Antiquities announced that Egypt is to retrieve 91 smuggled artefacts from Israel, which date back to various ancient eras, after winning a case it filed last year.
Abdel Gawad, stated at the time that Egypt has recovered over 1,000 smuggled artefacts, from several countries in the past two years, including 586, which were retrieved last year.
Last year, Egypt also received an ancient Egyptian relic recovered from France after discovering it in one of Paris' auction houses, before the ministry took all necessary procedures to stop the relic's sale and its withdrawal from the auction.
The retrieved artefacts include cosmetics and jewellery containers made from beads, ivory, and bone, which can be dated to diverse ages of ancient Egyptian civilisation, however, most of them belong to the Coptic era.


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