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Egypt Recovers Historic Mummy Mask from Paris | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Undated handout photo shows mummies uncovered by Egyptian archaeologists at a site in the desert on the western side of the Step Pyramid of Saqqara. Egyptian archaeologists have found about 30 mummies and at least one unopened sarcophagus in a burial chamber about 4,300 years old, the government said in a statement on Monday. REUTERS/Ministry of Culture/Handout

Cairo – Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and Heritage said that – in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian Embassy in Paris – it has succeeded in recovering a historic wooden mummy mask from France after it was stolen and illegally smuggled.

Shabaan Abdel Gawad, general supervisor of the Antiquities Repatriation Sector of the Ministry of Antiquities said Saturday that the mask was discovered in an auction hall in Paris by the end of 2016. After further examination and research the mask was proved to be a piece from the Elephantine Antiquities Galleries in Aswan, he added.

Abdul Gawad asserted that the Ministry took all necessary procedures to stop the disposal of the piece which was sent to the Egyptian Embassy in Paris few days ago. He continued that the mask is the third historic piece which the antiquities ministry was able to recover after two other items were stolen from the Elephantine Galleries in 2013.

The general supervisor noted that many stolen pieces were also returned over the past years from London and Germany.

The Egyptian Government has called all countries to adopt the UNESCO’s 1970 convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.