CAIRO: Egyptian officials have retrieved 114 looted antiquities smuggled to France following joint investigations by the Egyptian Public Prosecution office and French judicial authorities.
Heading a high-level delegation, Hamada Al-Sawy, Egypt’s public prosecutor, arrived in Paris on Tuesday and visited the Egyptian Embassy, along with Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, to resume the retrieval process and halt any attempts to sell the artefacts.
The officials took inventory of the recovered items in preparation for the transfer to Cairo, the Egyptian prosecution said on Wednesday.
The pieces were transferred to the embassy and unpacked with the help of the French Interior Ministry.
Al-Sawy said the public prosecution office is following a plan within the framework of Egypt’s strategy to recover its smuggled antiquities and preserve their history.
He highlighted the need for Cairo and Paris to exchange information on criminal investigation techniques and new technologies in fighting crime.
Al-Sawy also detailed the effective cooperation between all stakeholders in combating organized and transnational crimes, terrorism, money laundering, antiquities smuggling, human trafficking and violence against women.
Alaa Yousef, Egypt’s ambassador to France, praised the collaboration, describing it as an achievement that added to the record of Egyptian-French bilateral relations.
Both countries’ relations have strengthened in several areas over recent years, he added.