An ancient Egyptian statue retrieved from Belgium on Mar. 22, 2016 - photo from the ministry of antiquities
CAIRO, Jun 30 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt's foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the Egyptian embassy in France received from a French auction house an ancient artefact that dates back to the 30th dynasty that ruled in 360-343 B.C.
The artefact is an eighty-kilogram limestone slab with an encryption featuring the upper half of the goddess "Sekhmet" looking to the right and carrying the disk of the sun above her head, in addition to a pillar with hieroglyphs symbolising King Nectanebo II, who was the third and last pharaoh of the 30th dynasty.
In a statement published on Wednesday on Facebook, the foreign ministry clarified that the artefact was received after several official memoranda were directed to the French auction house Millon earlier this month.
Millon investigated the issue and confirmed the archeological aspect of the limestone frame with the help of an Egyptian archeological expert who works there, the ministry added.
The expert confirmed that the artefact belongs to the Sakkara archeological site along with other artefacts that have been announced as stolen by the Egyptian ministry of antiquities.
Furthermore, the artefact was circulated during the timeframe of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Thus, the expert requested its return to Egypt.
Egypt retrieved around 300 ancient artefacts from France over 2015 and 2016 after France seized them from smugglers.
The Egyptian embassy in Paris is currently working to finalise the procedures for the shipment of the artefact to Cairo, the foreign ministry said.