Egypt Repatriation 5000 Manuscripts And Pieces Of Papyrus From USA
Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
After the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in coordination with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American authorities concerned, a large group of Egyptian objects in the possession of the 'Holy Bible' Museum in Washington, USA, arrived at Cairo International Airport a short while ago.
Mr. Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, General Supervisor of the Department of Retrieved Antiquities, stated that the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities had succeeded in retrieving these pieces after the hard work that began in2016, with the American authorities concerned demanding the repatriation of those pieces that had been illegally smuggled out of Egypt.
Negotiations between officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and officials of the Holy Bible Museum have continued for two years, in coordination with the US Department of Homeland Security, with the agreement that the Museum would return all Egyptian artifacts in its possession to the Egyptian Government.
Shaaban Abdel-Gawad pointed out that the collection includes almost 5,000 manuscripts and pieces of papyrus, written on them texts in the Coptic language, hieratic and demotic scripts, and Greek, as well as manuscripts of Christian religious prayers written in Arabic and Coptic together or in Arabic only.
Dr. Hisham Al-Laithi, head of the central administration of the Antiquities Registration Center, confirmed that the repatriated objects were not from museums or archeological stores of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, but rather as a result of illegal excavation.
The Ambassador of the United States to Cairo, Jonathan Cohen, said he was glad the United States returned these artifacts to Egypt and said: "It is pleasing for the United States to return these artifacts to Egypt as part of joint cooperation between the two states in protecting the rich cultural heritage of Egypt.