Introduction
 
 

 


  

In 2002, when he took the position of Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass established a new department dedicated to recovering stolen antiquities. Since its foundation this department, with the assistance of national and international law enforcement, has repatriated thousands of the priceless objects that have been looted from Egypt.

Today, new security measures are in place to prevent further losses, and concerned individuals and international organizations are assisting us in our quest to find and bring back Egypt's stolen heritage. Many important objects, however, are still in the unlawful possession of individuals and institutions, both in Egypt and abroad. This section highlights both objects which have been successfully repatriated and those whose return the MSA is actively seeking.

As part of Dr. Hawass' vision to protect Egypt's cultural heritage, he championed an effort to revise the antiquities law, which had last been updated in 1983. He proposed new amendments that would govern reproduction of antiquities, impose harsher sentences on those who smugglled antiquities, and implement site management plans for ancient monuments. In 2010, he succeeded in creating new legislation which went into effect in Feburary, 2010: Law No. 117 of 1983, as amended by Law No. 3 of 2010, Promulgating the Antiquities' Protection Law. This new law will serve to protect Egypt's archaeological treasure and sites well into the future.

In April 2010, the SCA held a conference on International Cooperation for the Protection and Repatriation of Cultural Heritage. The aim of the conference was to gather together countries that have been negatively affected by antiquities trafficking to discuss how to work together for change.

If you have any information about a stolen Egyptian antiquity, please contact the Minister, Dr. Zahi Hawass, at pyramiza2007@gmail.com.

 

 

The Mask of Ka-nefer-nefer, stolen from Egypt and currently in the possession of the St. Louis Museum of Art (St. Louis Museum of Art)

The Mask of Ka-nefer-nefer, stolen from Egypt and currently in the possession of the St. Louis Museum of Art (St. Louis Museum of Art)