Home Artifacts Lapid to return stolen Egyptian artifacts during his visit

Lapid to return stolen Egyptian artifacts during his visit

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Foreign Minister Yair Lapid reportedly returned dozens of stolen Egyptian items during his next visit to Cairo on Thursday.

The artifacts – seized in two separate police raids in 2013 – include a stone tablet engraved with hieroglyphic runes, a stone sarcophagus, ancient writings on papyrus paper, as well as a myriad of ceremonial statues.

The first group of artifacts was seized from an Israeli antique dealer, who allegedly purchased the artifacts in Oxford, before attempting to smuggle them into the country.

The second group was kidnapped months later from a certified trader in Jerusalem, following advice from Egyptian authorities, who claimed the artifacts had been illegally exported from Egypt.

The artifacts will be returned to Egypt at the request of the Egyptian authorities, and as a gesture of goodwill on the part of Israel, intended to further develop the growing relations between the two neighboring countries.

Lapid’s planned talks in Cairo are expected to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Egyptian-negotiated interim truce between Israel and the Hamas leadership in Gaza, as well as the issue of the Israelis and the remains of Israeli soldiers held in the strip.

He is also expected to meet his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry

It is currently unknown whether Lapid will meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

This is the second time that Israel has made such a gesture of goodwill towards Cairo, which in 2016 received two rare lids of ancient Egyptian sarcophagi, looted during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.