Egypt recoups 40 illegally smuggled artefacts from Germany
Germany returned Monday to Egypt 40 ancient Egyptian statuettes after they had been stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country, “Ahram Online” reports citing an official.
Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, the supervisor-general of antiquities repatriation indicated to the media artefacts consists of 40 ushabti statuettes seized by German customs at Frankfurt Airport in 2020.
According to Abdel-Gawad, the statuettes were used in Ancient Egyptian burials, where they were expected to serve as magical servants for the deceased when gods requested him to undertake menial tasks in the afterlife.
Also per the state official, the ancient statuettes were examined by Egyptologists from Heidelberg University and the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, who affirmed Egypt’s rightful possession of these objects and ruled that they will be returned.
The Egyptian embassy in Berlin received the artefacts from Carsten Wilms, the Cultural Officer for the Middle East and Africa at the German Foreign Ministry.
Germany in 2017, the Egyptian media notes, changed an act in its cultural property law to facilitate the return of cultural goods to their countries of origin.