Recovered Egyptian Antiquities

In the year from October 2008 to November 2009, several Egyptian antiquities made their way into the United States. Among these trafficked antiquities were a Greco-Roman style sarcophagus, a set of Egyptian boats and Egyptian limestone figures.

Most of the smuggled items were recovered by U.S. Homeland Security, with help from Egypt’s Ministry of State for Antiquities, in July 2011. Suspects in Michigan, New York, Virginia and the United Arab Emirates have been arrested for the crime. It is suspected that the antiquities went through Dubai, UAE and then into the United States. This arrest is significant as it is the first time a cultural property network in the U.S. has been dismantled. Also, the illicit sale of cultural property is the third most profitable black market industry, and there is, no doubt, a large market for sarcophogi.

Objects from the past can help us understand ancient civilizations and ways of life. However, when antiquities and artifacts are moved and tampered with, they may lose some of their cultural value and significance. 

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One Response to Recovered Egyptian Antiquities

  1. bmflowers says:

    I find it very interesting to see the influence of different cultural traditions in works. A Greco-Roman style sarcophagus is a great example! How this sarcophagus had a Greco-Roman style? I know in class we discussed that the Ancient Greeks focused on the human form. I’m curious how this was incorporated with the sarcophagus.
    It is great that U.S. Homeland Security was able to recover these artifacts. I agree that artifacts have a great cultural value and significance and it is a shame that people try to take advantage of this. I didn’t realize how large the black market for cultural property is. I wonder what are the first and second largest black markets?

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