The Egyptian embassy in Paris is due to receive on Thursday, 293 artefacts that were illegally smuggled into France, according to the Egyptian Ambassador in Paris Ehab Badawi.
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Al-Damati announced that this step comes within the framework of exerted efforts to restore any Egyptian artefact, proved to be illegally smuggled outside the country, pointing out that the restored artefacts were among 302 pieces that were smuggled into France.
The minister revealed that Egypt is set to sign a bilateral agreement with France, to curb the smuggling of Egyptian antiquities into France, which was agreed upon during the meeting of the Egyptian-French council for protecting heritage and cultural property, held two weeks ago in Cairo.
The restored artefacts date back to different eras of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
The pieces include colourful wooden statues of sailors, funerary boats, plates of limestone which represent offerings and sacrifices to god Osiris, in addition to a number of ancient amulets, statues and coins that date back to the Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras.
It is estimated that around $3 billion USD in Egyptian antiquities have been smuggled outside the country since the outbreak of the 25 January Revolution in 2011, according to the International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities, a US-based initiative partnered with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.