The Ministry of Antiquities in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior has restored rare pieces of jewelry from the former ruling family of Mohamed Ali, the ministry announced in a Sunday press conference.
The antiquities were recovered by the Tourism and Antiquities Police Department. According to Ahmed Abdel Zaher, head of the department, two collections of rare jewelry were returned. The first included 136 pieces and the other 110 pieces, both dating back to the era of Mohamed Ali, ruler of Egypt in the early 19th century.
Mahmoud Abbas, head of modern era antiquities department in the Ministry of Antiquities, said that “the pieces belong to the Egyptian state”, adding that they were held in Banque Misr as a mortgage, “which proves that they weren’t acquired legally or else they would have been sold.”
Abbas added that they were able to detect that the newly found pieces belong to Mohamed Ali’s family through the names of the artists and the stamps that were crafted on them, which match other jewelry preserved in Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria.
According to Momtaz Fathy, assistant of interior minister for tourism, investigations have shown that the pieces were kept in the bank in possession of one of the royal attendants of Ali’s last descendent in power, King Farouk. He added its unknown how she was able to get hold of the jewelry.
Fathy said that after the attendant’s death, the jewelry were inherited by her husband and were kept in the bank without “a proof of ownership, which proves that they don’t belong to the attendant or her husband, but to the Egyptian state.”
Mohamed Ali was appointed the Ottoman Sultan’s Viceroy of Egypt and Sudan in 1805. He ruled Egypt until his death in 1849 and was succeeded by his son. His descendents ruled Egypt until 1952, when King Farouk was toppled in the revolution of 1952 by the Free Officers Movement led by Mohamed Naguib and late-president Gamal Abdel Nasser.