Egypt Retrieves Stolen Ancient Relief from UK Auction

An ancient Egyptian artefact that was stolen and illegally smuggled out of Egypt has been returned to the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt after being displayed at a London auction house.

The stolen ancient Egyptian artefact has return to the country

The Ministry of Antiquities posted on Facebook yesterday that they have recovered the relief, a cartouche of King Amenhotep I, after following up websites of international auction halls. Having found the relic on display at one of London auction houses, they took all the necessary procedures to withdraw it from the sale.

Representation of King Amenhotep I. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

"The relief was originally exhibited in the open museum of Karnak Temple at Luxor", said Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, General Supervisor of Antiquities Repatriation Department at the ministry. It is not clear how or when the relic was smuggled out of the country.

They worked with the Egyptian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Egyptian embassy in London and all concerned British authorities to recover the relief. The Egyptian Embassy in London received it in September 2018, he added.

In recent years, Egypt has stepped up efforts to bring back its archaeological treasures and historical heritage, as well as to stop trafficking of its antiquities. It has warned foreign museums that they will not cooperate with them in relation to exhibits on ancient Egyptian sites unless smuggled artefacts are returned.