- Egyptian culture authorities today confirmed the return of a large number of ancient artefacts from Britain, dating back to the early Stone Age till the pharonic era. The collection will be used for a new antiquities museum in Qena.
According to the Egyptian Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, government had yesterday received 217 artefacts from Britain, most of which are dating back to the pre-historic era.
This is one of the shipments of a total of some 31,000 ancient artefacts to be returned to Egypt by Britain, according to UK press reports. The return of these artefacts comes after an agreement was reached between the London and Cairo governments in accordance to international art treaties.
"The collection dates back to the stone age (200,000 BC) and the pre-historic era as well as the pharonic dynasties," according to an Egyptian government press release.
Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities Zahi Hawwas said in a statement that the retrieved pieces would become "the cornerstone for establishing the museum of pre-historic age antiquities in Qena, Upper Egypt." The new museum is to focus on the so-called "Naqada period", one of the earliest civilisations known on earth, located close to current-day Naqada village in southern Egypt.
The collection of returned ancient Egyptian items includes pottery made of clay with fingerprints from their makers from the seventh millennium BC. The artefacts further include an axe made of stone and an ivory box, according to the Ministry.
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