CAIRO, June 16 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt’s ministry of antiquities announced on Thursday the arrival of two sarcophagi lids from Israel, after the success of diplomatic efforts which proved they belong to Egypt.
The return of the wooden sarcophagi covers mark the second time for Egypt to recover artefacts from Israel, said general supervisor of the recovered monuments administration in the ministry Shaaban Abdel Gawad.
He pointed that the first time Egypt recovered artefacts from Israel was in the nineties when Egypt succeeded in restoring archeological pieces that were excavated in Sinai by Israeli archeological teams during the time of the occupation.
Abdel Gawad said the two recovered sarcophagi covers were found in one of the auction houses in Jerusalem in 2012 by Israeli antiquities authorities and interpol in Jerusalem which informed the Egyptian interpol of the findings.
He added that the covers were smuggled out of Egypt through an Israeli artefacts dealer.
Citing the Israeli foreign ministry, Reuters reported last month that the covers were stolen in Egypt and smuggled to East Jerusalem via a Gulf state.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold said in May that “the return of the Egyptian (artefacts) is symbolic, more than anything, of the changing relations (between) Israel and Egypt,” Reuters reported.