Minister of State Böhmer to return art works illegally imported into Germany from Egypt

29.04.2014 - Press release

At a ceremony at 11 a.m. on 30 April 2014 Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Prof Maria Böhmer will hand over three antiquities originating from Egypt to the country’s ambassador, Dr Mohamed Higazy. The three art works are a niche stele, a statue shrine and a miniature obelisk.

All three had been illegally exported from Egypt. They were confiscated by customs officials, who discovered them hidden in a lorry at the German‑Swiss border at Weil am Rhein.

On the eve of the handover ceremony Minister of State Böhmer expressed her delight that these art works, testimony to a great and ancient civilisation, were now returning to Egypt, where they would be accessible to the public. She also drew attention to the harm caused by the illicit global trade in cultural property.

Not only the destruction of cultural objects and antique sites, but also illegal digging and the looting and illegal export of cultural objects did irreparable damage to a nation’s cultural heritage, she warned.

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