Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has said that the recovery of the Green Coffin from the USA confirms the commitment of the Egyptian state to the restoration of its antiquities that illegally went abroad, as an integral part of its priceless cultural heritage.
Speaking at a press conference with Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa on the restoration of the Green Coffin on Monday, Shoukry added that these artefacts are testimony to our civilization, which continues to impress the world every day with every new archeological discovery. Every piece, no matter how large or small, is part of the history and identity of Egypt and the Egyptians
There is a spirit of cooperation between Egypt and the United States in protecting cultural property and recovering smuggled antiquities, he said.
He said that this cooperation was represented by the signing of two memorandums of understanding in 2016 and 2021 to combat illegal trafficking in cultural property and the establishment of a legal framework for cooperation in this field.
He said that this cooperation was exemplified by the signing of two memorandums of understanding in 2016 and 2021 to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property and the establishment of a legal framework for cooperation in this field.
He added that this intensified the pace of restoring Egyptian antiquities, which departed illegally.
He pointed out that Egypt was among the first countries to ratify the Hague Convention of 1954 and UNESCO of 1970 for the prohibition, prevention, transfer and illegal import of cultural property, noting that Egypt is in the process of expanding the signing of agreements to recover our looted antiquities from abroad,
Over the past decade, Egypt has recovered 29,500 artefacts, he said, noting that Egyptian artefacts are the most extensive collection of human heritage.
Minister Shoukry stressed the directives issued to Egyptian Missions abroad to prosecute any trafficking in Egyptian antiquities smuggled abroad, pointing to the efforts of the relevant ministries in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to restore smuggled antiquities
For his part ,Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said the Egyptian state will not tolerate the return of Egyptian antiquities from abroad. He noted that Egypt and the US have worked together to coordinate their efforts, following years of investigations in which Egypt was able to recover the Green Coffin from the US.
He pointed out that the Egyptian state is working hard to preserve Egyptian antiquities and recover those smuggled out of them, stressing that Egypt was able to recover a number of important Egyptian Antiquities during 2019 and about 5 thousand pieces in 2022.
Before the conference, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received the Green Coffin in the presence of Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, and the American charge d’affaires in Cairo.
The lid of the coffin is distinguished by an exceptional size, its length is more than 3 meters, it is made of wood covered with hieroglyphs, has a face coloured in green, and is also decorated with ornaments in gold.