Kuwait Handover Pharaonic Relics to Egypt

Kuwait handed on Thursday five pharaonic artifacts to Egypt, confiscated by the customs department at Kuwait airport in 2019. Director of Artifacts and Museums at the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) Sultan Al-Duwaish told KUNA that these invaluable artifacts, smuggled from Luxor, were closely examined by experts from Kuwait University, Poland and Egypt, who concluded that three were original pieces dating back to 1400 BC, while two were of questionable origins.

Duwaish said a number of Kuwaiti entities including the foreign ministry, the customs department and NCCAL cooperated with the Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait to examine and return these relics to their rightful place as stipulated in international treaties. He indicated that this is the second handover of historical artifacts by Kuwait to Egypt, the first being in 2018 of a wooden casket cover.

Egyptian Ambassador to Kuwait Osama Shaltout commended the role of Kuwaiti entities and their tireless efforts in returning the artifacts to their original place. He added that this cooperation includes investigating those involved in the smuggling, adding a delegation from the Egyptian public prosecution came to Kuwait in March to follow up the case.

Shaltout said this stems from Egypt’s quest to recover 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 the ancient Egyptian god Horus, as well as an ornate stone mural.

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