Earlier this week, the Egyptian authorities were pleased to report that they had thwarted two separate attempts by Egyptian citizens to smuggle 19th century antiquities out of the country. According to recent reports, both arrests occurred at the Cairo Airport, and were made by Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Police.
Between the two thwarted attempts, authorities recovered a total of six historical items. These six items include several manuscripts, a bronze chandelier, a gold-plated desk clock, and a set of porcelain reliefs with wooden frames. These antiquities are believed to date back to the reign of Mohamed Ali.
The objects were found in the would-be smugglers’ luggage as they attempted to board their respective flights. The items will be given to Egypt’s Islamic Art Museum after the investigation into the crimes has completed. The smugglers themselves are currently being held on charges of attempting to smuggle Egypt’s archaeological heritage.
The arrests are due to the Archaeological Units, an initiative put in place by the Ministry of State of Antiquities. The Archaeological Units initiative works to put experts at all Egyptian airports and harbors. The initiative, which was put in place five years ago to thwart smuggling, appears to be doing it’s job.