Ministry of Antiquities announces that hundreds of artifacts have been repatriated and thousands more seized.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced that over 500 ancient Egyptian artifacts have been repatriated after having been looted or illegally smuggled. According to the Cairo Post, the ministry also announced that officials have shut down several attempts to smuggle 5000 artifacts during the course of the year. The invaluable pieces are set to be exhibited at the Egyptian museum in January of 2016, according to the ministry’s Facebook page. The ministry had vowed to step up efforts to repatriate and seize back stolen artifacts earlier this year.
Monument theft incidents increased dramatically following the political turmoil that had broken out in January 2011. In 2014, a statue of the scribe Sekhemka sold for $23.8 million at Christie's Auction House, setting the record for ancient Egyptian artifacts.