Kuwait returns five pharaonic artifacts to Egypt following failed smuggling attempt

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KUWAIT — Kuwait handed on Thursday five pharaonic artifacts to Egypt, confiscated by the customs department in Kuwait Airport back in 2019.

Head of artifacts and museums department in the National Council for Culture Arts and Literature (NCCAL) Sultan Al-Duwaish said that these invaluable artifacts, smuggled from Al-Uqsur, were closely examined by experts from Kuwait University, Poland and Egypt and concluded that three were original pieces dating back to 1400 B.C. and two were of questionable origins.

He also mentioned that a number of Kuwaiti entities including the foreign ministry, the customs department and NCCAL all cooperated with Egyptian embassy in Kuwait to examine and return these relics to their rightful place as stipulated in international treaties.

He indicated that this the second handover of historical artifacts by Kuwait to Egypt, the first being in 2018 of wooden casket cover.

On his part, Egyptian ambassador to Kuwait Osama Shaltout commended the role of Kuwaiti entities and their tireless efforts in returning artifacts to their original place.

He also added that this cooperation includes investigating with those involved in the smuggling process adding that delegation from Egyptian public prosecution came to Kuwait back in March to follow up on the case.

He further commented that this stems from Egypt’s quest to restore missing pieces, adding that France has already returned hundreds of items, while tens came from Italy and Spain.

Four of the items confiscated in Kuwait were statues of Egyptian pharaohs including Amenhotep III and Amun-Ra and ancient Egyptian god Horus, as well as an ornate stone mural. — KUNA



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