CAIRO – France will return to Egypt 239 archaeological artifacts which were illegally smuggled out of the country, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh al Damati said.
Al Damati said in a statement that experts from the Louvre Museum had confirmed the authenticity of 239 of the 302 archaeological pieces illegally taken from Egypt to France.
The Egyptian authorities have requested the return of the remaining 63 pieces for examination.
The statement pointed out that the recovery of the artifacts is part of the ministry’s efforts to recover archaeological objects stolen from the country.
Al Damati said the Egyptian Government is preparing an agreement with France to reduce antiquity smuggling, which has spread recently.
Antiquities Department head Ali Ahmed said in the statement that the recovered pieces date back to different Pharaonic eras.
They include wooden painted statuettes of sailors which were part of a funerary boat and a piece of limestone with drawings showing offerings to the god Osiris and the goddess Isis.
The pieces also include a number of amulets, pots made of stone and ceramic and a set of coins of the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic eras.