Sixteen ancient artefacts have been seized by the authorities at an Egyptian port during a foiled smuggling operation.
The artefacts, which are from different time periods, were seized by security officials at Safaga Port in the town of Safaga in the Egyptian governorate of Red Sea.
Mostafa al-Waziry, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said a committee was put together as soon as they received word that the seized items at the port were archaeological.
A team from the Archaeological Ports Unit in the governorate was formed to examine the 16 artefacts, which included bronze and wood statues.
Among the artefacts, there were also a funerary mask, a clay funerary funnel with hieroglyphic text, and gold-coated jewellery made of vine and wood, according to Hamdy Hammam, head of Central Administration of Ports and Archaeological Units.
The assigned committee said that the seized artefacts were all archaeological and must be returned to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, as stipulated by law.
There were no reports of any arrests and the local authorities are continuing to investigate what they suspect was an attempt to smuggle ancient artefacts overseas for sale.
The investigation is ongoing.
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