Egyptian officials have seized 13 archaeological scrolls and artefacts from a passenger at Cairo International Airport.
The manuscripts, ranging from between the 17th and 19th centuries, were seized by officials at Cairo International Airport in the Egyptian capital last week.
Among the items, officials seized three papyrus scrolls in poor condition, and a metal coin mould with a seal dating to the Ottoman era.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement that Passenger Security Police officials alerted colleagues of the Cairo Airport Police and the archaeological unit in Terminal 1 of a suspect trying to smuggle archaeological documents overseas.
An expert archaeological committee, put together by the Egyptian National Library and Archives and the Supreme Council of Antiquities, investigated the matter under the leadership of antiquities inspector Malak Noshy.
The committee said that the items were confiscated and that the suspect faces prosecution, adding that the artefacts were returned to The Coptic Museum in Cairo for restoration.
Noshy said that the scrolls included Islamic legal theory as well as spiritual medicine tips by Mikha’il, the thirteenth-century bishop of Atrib and Malij.
The manuscripts also included prayers in Arabic and Coptic and supplications featuring the Holy Psalmody and mention of the Prophet Muhammad.
The investigation is ongoing.
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