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Egypt awaiting return of ancient artefacts seized in Italy

The Antiquities Ministry says that 118 items will be returned to Egypt [AFP illustrative image]

Date of publication: 25 May, 2018

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Egypt's Antiquities Ministry has said that historical artefacts seized in Italy will be returned home once Italian police conclude their investigations.

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Egypt, Italy

A Cairo official says he expects 118 ancient Egyptian artefacts, which were among thousands belonging to other civilisations found by Italian police over two months ago, to be returned to Egypt.

Shaaban Abdel-Gawad from the Antiquities Ministry's repatriation committee said on Thursday that the artefacts will likely be returned after the Italian police's investigation into the case is finished.

There was no immediate comment from Italy.

Abdel-Gawad told The Associated Press that Egypt was informed two months ago about the seizure by police in the Italian city of Napoli of pottery vessels from different pharaonic eras, sarcophagi parts, coins, as well as artifacts from the Islamic period.

He added the arteacts were likely first found during illegal excavations in Egypt and smuggled out as no museum holds records of them.

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