Egypt Independent

Cairo Airport foils attempt to smuggle Khedival-era antiquities to Saudi Arabia



The Cairo International Airport antiques’ unit blocked an attempt by an Egyptian passenger to smuggle a collection of Khedival-era coins, paper currency, contracts, and bonds to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the unit head said in a statement.

Head of the Central Administration for Antiquities Units at the Ministry of Antiquities, Ahmed Al-Rawi, said that the smuggler planned to hold an exhibition in Saudi Arabia to sell the antique items.

Al-Rawy added that a committee led led by archaeologist Gergeis Mounir authenticated the pieces, dating them back to the Khedival era.

Director General of the Antiquities Units at Cairo International Airport, Hamdy Hammam, said the coins included 25 Ottoman coins, 50 from the Sultan Hussein Kamel era (1914 – 1917), 74 from the reign of King Fouad (1922 – 1936), 247 from the King Farouk era (1936 – 1952), as well as three Saudi Arabian coins from the reign of King Abdulaziz Al Saud (1932 – 1953) and two pre-1948 Palestinian coins printed.

“Among the coins from the era of King Farouk was a very rare gold coin,” Hammam said, adding that the collection included 24 bonds, documents and slave contracts.