CAIRO: Egyptian police prevented a British man and his wife from smuggling 19 artifacts out of the country, an antiquities official told AFP on Sunday.
The couple were stopped in the southern Luxor airport with an assortment of relics including figurines and pots dating back to several eras, said Hassan Rasmi, who monitors the movement of antiquities in the country.
Police referred the wife to the prosecution after she broke three of the relics.
Egypt has a rich heritage of Pharaonic, Greco-Roman and Islamic antiquities which are often the prey of robbers and smugglers.
The country’s former antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said more than 5,000 relics had been returned to the country since 2002.
Security around the country has deteriorated since last year’s uprising when several pieces went missing from the Egyptian museum.
For centuries, Egyptian antiquities have been looted from the country, but authorities are demanding key pieces be returned.