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Shoukry attends a ceremony on the occasion of the repatriation of antiquities at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington



On the margins of his visit to Washington, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attended on Thursday December 1st, a reception organized and hosted by the Egyptian Embassy in Washington to celebrate the repatriation of four artifacts that were smuggled into the United States.                                                                                      

Counselor Ahmed Abu Zeid Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, stated that the ceremony is the culmination of efforts by the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, in collaboration with the Ministry of antiquities, over the years to prove the eligibility of Egypt to recover four artifacts that were smuggled into the United States. Abu Zeid added the Egyptian Embassy has taken all necessary legal procedures and provided the US concerned authorities with all proofs that the artifacts were illegally smuggled out of Egypt. The US authorities have therefore supported Egypt’s eligibility to recover the artifacts belonging to the Pharaonic era, which comprise two wooden sarcophagus, a linen shroud for a mummy with its mask, and a hand of a mummy.

Abu Zeid added that the reception was attended by of a number of Congress members, officials from the US State Department and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well asrepresentatives from the US concerned authorities to celebrate the signing of the agreement of repatriating the artifacts. The spokesperson highlighted that Minister Shoukry, in his address on this occasion, thanked the Embassy and the US authorities for their full collaboration in the process of repatriating the artifacts, which reflects the strategic relations between the two nations. Shoukry also urged the international community to join efforts in facing the scourge of illegal smuggling and trafficking of antiquities; a practice detrimental to our common cultural heritage and human history.

Abu Zeid concluded his remarks, highlighting that the foreign minister began his visit to Washington by signing of a bilateral memorandum of understanding concerning the imposition of import restrictions on archaeological material of Egypt, which is considered the first agreement signed by the United States with a Middle Eastern country in this area. The agreement lays out the rules, restrictions and obligations to prevent illegal smuggling of antiquities into the United States.