Minister: No evidence Mubarak gave antiquities away as gifts

Investigations have so far produced no evidence proving that former President Hosni Mubarak gave antiquities from the Egyptian Museum as gifts to visiting dignitaries, said on Friday Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali.

In his statement, Ali asked that anyone with evidence regarding the case submit that information to the general prosecutor. Egypt’s antiquities belong to the people, he stated, and the ministry is committed to protecting them.

Sobhy Attiya Younis, the dean of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels at Mansoura University, is amongst those who accuse Mubarak of gifting away Egypt’s patrimony.

“Mubarak and his family gave many genuine relics as gifts. Whenever they expressed admiration for a certain piece, it would disappear from the Egyptian Museum,” Younis told the Shura Council’s committee on culture, information and tourism on Wednesday.

Younis added that former presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat had also given antiquities as gifts to international figures.

Ali noted in his statement that 54 artifacts went missing from the Egyptian Museum during the revolution, 25 of which have since been recovered. The Interior Ministry is coordinating with Interpol in their search for the rest of the pieces, he said.

Edited translation from MENA

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