Egyptian embassy retrieves pharaonic artifact smuggled into Canada
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Egyptian ambassador to Canada, Ahmed Abu Zeid, on Tuesday received a bronze artifact of the god “Bastet” belonging to the ancient Egyptian civilization, in a ceremony attended by a limited number of officials due to the COVID-19 precautions, including senior officials of the Ministries of Heritage and Foreign Affairs, the Canadian Border Services Agency, and correspondents from the major news channels in Canada.
This comes within the framework of the efforts made by Egypt’s diplomatic missions in retrieving the smuggled Egyptian antiquities abroad.
The ambassador said in statements after the meeting, that the recovery of the antique came as a result of joint efforts and close cooperation between the Egyptian Embassy in Canada and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on one hand, and between the concerned Canadian authorities on the other hand, which continued for several months to verify the antiquity of the recovered piece after it was confiscated by the Canadian Border Services Agency and to verify the illegality of its exit from the Egyptian territories.
The Egyptian ambassador revealed that Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, had participated in the ceremony of receiving the piece through a speech he gave from Luxor, in which he talked about the artifact and its historical background, thanking the Canadian government for its keenness to return the Egyptian piece, which becomes the first of its kind to be recovered from Canada, inviting Canadian tourists to visit Egypt and its archaeological sites, including the Grand Egyptian Museum, which he described as Egypt’s gift to the world in the twenty-first century.
For his part, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zaid delivered a speech, during which he emphasized the great interest the Egyptian state and its institutions attach to preserving its heritage and cultural history, as the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in cooperation with Egypt’s diplomatic missions abroad, succeeded in returning artifacts from many countries of the world, praising the distinguished relations between Egypt and Canada, which contributed to the success of efforts to recover this important piece.
For her part, the Canadian Assistant Minister of Heritage expressed her happiness to participate in the ceremony of handing over this antique that was proven to have been illegally exited from Egypt, confirming the Canadian government’s keenness to return it to the Egyptian authorities in compliance with the UNESCO treaty.