Former minister’s brother arrested for smuggled antiquities

The Egyptian prosecution arrested the brother of former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali on Wednesday, February 13 for four days under investigation in the case of Italy’s diplomatic bags of smuggled antiquities.

Attorney General Nabil Sadek officially announced the arrival of the smuggled antiquities at Cairo Airport on July 30.

Last year, the Egyptian Public Prosecution recognized the presence of Egyptian antiquities seized in the Italian city Salerno. Accordingly, Sadek ordered widespread investigations about these seizures.

Taking further steps regarding this evidence, Sadek requested the Ministry of Antiquities to send a team of archaeologists to Italy to examine the smuggled antiquities. Sadek and the General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities accompanied the investigating team to Italy.

Confirming that the antiquities were Egyptian originals, investigations revealed 195 small pieces were found, in addition to 21,660 ancient metal coins.

Egypt’s public prosecution immediately informed the Italian authorities that Egypt has the full right to have these smuggled antiquities back. Thanks to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian embassy in Rome, the Italian authorities instantly accepted the Egyptian prosecution’s appeal.

Along with a team from the Egyptian prosecution, a group of experts was directed to Italy to legally obtain the antiquities from Salerno and take them back to Egypt, where the pieces will be exceptionally exhibited in the long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum.

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