Egypt Independent

Egypt awaits return of stolen Ramses II ship from Cyprus



Egypt has requested from Cyrus the return of an archaeological ship belonging to King Ramses II, dating back to 1,200 BC.

The English-language daily newspaper, Cyprus Mail, wrote on Monday that the ship was stolen from Egypt but only recently found in Cyprus. The incident resulted in a dispute between the Cypriot government and parliament, with Cypriot MPs last week demanding an investigation into how the ship reached Cyprus, before requesting its return to Egypt.

Te Cypriot government responded that there was no need for an investigation due to lack of evidence.

The newspaper added that the Cypriot president intended on handing over the ship to Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, during his visit to Cyprus, but this intention has since been suspended following the rift with parliament.

Nevertheless, the president assured Cyprus will return the ship, along with a smaller artifact, once the disputed is resolved.

The newspaper also highlighted that Egyptian authorities didn’t generate a fuss in requesting the return of the ship and artifacts, and made requests through standard procedures.

The artifacts and ship will be delivered within the next few days to the Egyptian embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, director of the General Department of Recovered Antiquities, said that the Ministry of Antiquities effectively succeeded using diplomatic and legal channels to prove the artifacts belonged to Egypt and had been smuggled illegally.

According to Abdel Gawad, the case dated back to 2016, when Interpol, an international police organization, informed the Ministry of Antiquities about the artifacts in Cyprus.

The artifacts and ship are believed to have been smuggled into Cyprus in 1986.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm