Grand Egyptian Museum receives 2,000 artifacts

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A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on September 20, 2020, shows one of fourteen 2500 year-old coffins discovered in a burial shaft at the desert necropolis of Saqqara south of the capital. Egypt's antiquities ministry announced the discovery of 14 new coffins in the Saqqara area buried deep in a well for around 2500 years. (AFP)
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A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on September 20, 2020, shows Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri (C) carrying a sculpture at the site where fourteen 2500 year-old coffins were discovered in a burial shaft at the desert necropolis of Saqqara south of the capital. (AFP)
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A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on September 20, 2020, shows Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri (C) inspecting one of fourteen 2500 year-old coffins discovered in a burial shaft at the desert necropolis of Saqqara south of the capital. (AFP)
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Updated 21 September 2020

Grand Egyptian Museum receives 2,000 artifacts

  • The tombs were found two days ago during an archaeological dig
  • Statues and ornaments among ancient objects

CAIRO: Two pink granite columns belonging to King Ramses II, each six meters high and weighing 13 tons, are among some of the most important artifacts newly received by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) to be included in its display.

The museum received 2,000 objects of various sizes from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir and Tel El-Yahoudeya, amid tight security measures from the Tourism and Antiquities Police.

General supervisor Atef Miftah said that the number of pieces transferred to GEM had reached 54,000 with the new arrivals, adding that the granite columns would be placed on the museum’s stairs as a “huge architectural element.”

Al-Tayeb Abbas, the museum’s director-general of archaeological affairs, said that there were also 54 artifacts from the King Tutankhamun collection.

These include gold ornaments, necklaces, and a statue of gilded wood depicting Tutankhamun on the back of a leopard. He holds a stick in one hand and a torch in the other and can be seen wearing the white crown of pharaonic Upper Egypt and the sacred cobra on his forehead. He is also shown wearing a wide necklace that covers his chest and shoulders and ends with a row of beads.

There was a collection of pottery vessels from Tel El-Yahoudeya, silver coins and metal statues.

HIGHLIGHT

The number of pieces transferred to the grand museum has reached 54,000 with the new arrivals. There were also 54 artifacts from the King Tutankhamun collection.

Issa Zidan, director-general of executive affairs for the restoration and transfer of antiquities at GEM, said that the process of receiving and transporting antiquities was proceeding according to plan.

He added that 47 wooden pieces were transferred from Khufu’s second ship, bringing the total number transferred to GEM to 1,053, and that a report had been submitted for each item to prove the state of its preservation accurately.

The restoration team had done the documentation and work for all the pieces, and the process of packaging and transporting the artifacts was carried out at the highest level of efficiency and in accordance with the scientific standards used for packing and transporting antiquities.

Zidan also said that the Tutankhamun artifacts were handed over to the wood restoration laboratory and the non-organic archeology restoration laboratory so that they could be restored and repaired by a specialist team to prepare them for display at GEM’s opening.

Egypt began work on GEM in 2008 at a cost of approximately $550 million, with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities funding $100 million and the remainder facilitated through a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, in addition to other local and international donations.

 


Iran’s ‘anti-human’ migrant plan sparks anger in Kabul

Updated 5 min 57 sec ago

Iran’s ‘anti-human’ migrant plan sparks anger in Kabul

  • An unknown number of exiled Afghans lack identification documents such as passports, visas and permits
  • If approved by Iran’s parliament, the move could affect nearly 2.5 million Afghans

KABUL: Afghanistan has condemned an Iranian plan to impose 25-year jail terms on anyone deemed an “illegal migrant” while also giving officials authority to fire on vehicles suspected of carrying asylum seekers.
If approved by Iran’s parliament, the move could affect nearly 2.5 million Afghans who have fled their homeland since the start of the conflict over four decades ago and are now living in Iran.
An unknown number of exiled Afghans lack identification documents such as passports, visas and residential permits.
“We are highly concerned about this. We hope that Iran will not resort to such a move,” Abdul Basit Ansari, an adviser for Afghanistan’s ministry of refugees, told Arab News.
“We can jointly work to solve this issue, and we insist on voluntary repatriation of Afghans,” he added.
Iran’s Sharq newspaper, citing the country’s Islamic Council, said recently that the parliament was working to “regulate illegal migrants” and would put its proposals up for approval “very soon.”
Under the plan those entering or living in Iran without a permit will be jailed for 25 years, and will face hefty fines and confiscation of property.
An Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman said Kabul has conveyed its concerns to Iranian authorities through its ambassador in Tehran.
“There are serious efforts underway to deal with this issue through diplomatic channels,” Hamid Tehzeb told Arab News.
The proposed plan comes amid a surge of violent attacks in Afghanistan and a likely rise in the number of Afghan refugees in the region after the US completes its troop withdrawal by next spring.
If approved, Iran’s proposals could further strain already uneasy relations between the  neighbors following a series of incidents earlier this year.
Ties between Kabul and Tehran have been especially strained since May 1 when 13 Afghan migrants drowned after they were reportedly forced to cross a river at gunpoint by Iranian forces.
In another incident, which took place in the Iranian city of Yazd on June 5, three Afghans died after their vehicle was hit by police gunfire.
Police claimed the vehicle failed to stop for a routine check.
The two incidents angered Kabul. However, Iran later promised better treatment of Afghan migrants with a pledge to extend their residence permits.
Aryan Youn, an MP from Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, said that the latest move is part of Tehran’s “wider pressure” on the Afghan government to abandon the building of dams that will eventually reduce the flow of water to Iran.
The two countries have been locked in a dispute over water since the 1990s.
“Both of our neighbors, Iran and Pakistan, use the issue of refugees to pressure our government whenever they see their interests in danger in Afghanistan,” Youn told Arab News.
Mirwas Khadem, an MP from southern Helmand province, described the plan as “shocking, anti-human and anti-Islamic.”
“You do not hand down such a punishment for even a major criminal. These people have fled because of the war and do not deserve such a punishment. There is no precedence for such a thing in any corner of the world,” he said.
Experts accused Tehran of “taking advantage” of Kabul’s domestic issues.
“Iran is doing whatever it can to frighten or expel the refugees,” Fazl Rahman Orya, a political analyst, told Arab News.
Shafiq Hapal, another analyst, said Iran’s move could be a result of a “larger fear” in Tehran that fighting will escalate in Afghanistan after foreign troops leave, forcing hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in Iran.
“I think Iran is making its preparations now to prevent a sudden flow of uncontrolled migration to Iran. It wants to frighten any Afghans who are thinking of escaping there,” he said.