Egypt repatriates smuggled ancient artifact from UK

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The Egyptian ministry in London received the artifact in September.  [AP images]
Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry  on Tuesday said it had repatriated an illegally smuggled artifact from the UK.

The statement from the ministry said the newly recovered item, which belonged to King Amenhotep I from the 18th dynasty, had been put on display at a London auction house. 

The ministry in its statement said the relic was originally exhibited at an open museum of the ancient temple of Karnak in the city of Luxor. It didn’t say how the artifact was smuggled out of the country.

According to the ministry, the Egyptian ministry in London received the artifact in September. 

The North African country has in recent years stepped up efforts to stop the trafficking of its antiquities even as it increases the search for new discoveries. 

It has warned foreign museums that it will not help them mount exhibits on ancient Egyptian sites unless they returned smuggled artifacts.