Two ancient sarcophagus covers have been delivered to Cairo’s Egyptian Museum after they surfaced at an auction in Israel, were seized by Israeli authorities and returned to Egypt last month.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General Dr. Dore Gold said in May when Israel handed over to Egypt the two ancient relics that “it is hoped that the handing over of these ancient items will be a precursor for further bilateral cooperation in the field of historical heritage, as well as other fields of mutual interest to the benefit of both countries.”
The artifacts, which were shipped from Egypt to Dubai and later from London to Israel, consist of two covers of Egyptian sarcophagi, ancient coffins, thousands of years old. One of the covers dates to the period between the 10th and 8th centuries BCE, and the other is dated between the 16th and 14th centuries BCE.
Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani said the colorful covers, decorated with hieroglyphics and illustrations, were recovered after they went on sale in 2012 and arrived at the museum Tuesday following cooperation between the two countries and Interpol.
He said the covers will be restored and put on display either in the Cairo museum or in the new Grand Museum currently under construction near the Giza Pyramids.
El-Anani said it is still unclear how the rare artifacts made their way to Israel, but that Egypt would continue to repatriate any antiquities that have left the country illegally.
By: AP and United with Israel
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