Israel sends ancient sarcophagi covers to Egypt

May 22, 2016  

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Sunday transferred two ancient relics from Pharaonic times to the Ambassador of Egypt.

The two artifacts are Egyptian sarcophagi covers dating back to the period between the 10th-8th centuries and 16th-14th centuries BCE.

The items had been illegally smuggled into Israel and were confiscated by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Subsequently, the sarcophagi covers were held under IAA climate-controlled laboratories.

The transfer was made possible due to the 1979 peace treaty between the countries, as well as the reinforced dialogue between the MFA and the Embassy of Egypt in Israel.

MFA Director General Dr. Dore Gold expressed hope that handing over the ancient artifacts will act as a precursor to further bilateral cooperation in the field of historical heritage, and other fields of mutual interest, which will benefit both countries.

Egyptian Ambassador Hazem Khairat said that Egypt appreciated the efforts made by the Israeli authorities to return the smuggled antiquities to their country of origin and is looking forward to the rest of the smuggled antiquities found in Israel to be returned to Egypt.

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