Egypt asks Israel for 126 objects illegally removed in 2011

Egypt asks Israel for 126 objects illegally removed in 2011

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Egypt has taken legal action to recover dozens of objects that have been smuggled into Israel due to illegal excavation activities in Egyptian archaeological sites during the Arab Spring protests in 2011.

These legal actions take place after the Egyptian authorities have had diplomatic talks with the government of IsraelBut in order to return the objects, Israel has made the condition that the Egyptian Ambassador to his country return to his post after being withdrawn in protest to the aerial bombardments in the Gaza Strip in November 2011.

The head of the Department of Antiquities, Ali Ahmad, told the Cairo Post what were 126 objects from different eras of Pharaonic Egypt those who had been smuggled.

In November 2014, the former Minister of Antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim, contacted Interpol to ask the Israeli authorities for an explanation of the ownership of the objects and how they had left Egypt, as a preliminary step to reclaim the objects.

Based on the UNESCO laws of 1970, the Egyptian government began to process the demand to the Israeli authorities to recover the objects. In order for the lawsuit to proceed, the Israeli courts will have to summon an Egyptian antiquities expert to prove their authenticity and furthermore, the Egyptian government will have to prove that these objects are registered in the archives of the Ministry and that they have been stolen from archaeological sites, museums and deposits of the Ministry.

According to Ahmed, if an item is found to be sold on the Internet or listed in an auction house, it cannot be sold until it is proven that it left Egypt in a legal manner.

The political instability that exists in Egypt since the Arab Spring on January 25, 2011, has caused that much of its cultural heritage is exposed to looting and despite the efforts of the Egyptian government, many objects are not registered.

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