The guard of a museum in Aachen city, Germany, found by chance the mummy of an Egyptian bird dating back thousands of years in the museum's basement.
Deutsche Welle satellite channel quoted a spokeswoman for the city of Aachen, Utah Gorek, on Monday, as saying that the guard found the mummy inside a wooden box that he brought from the basement to use in an exhibition planned by the museum for artifacts of the nineteenth century.
The mummy of a falcon may have been placed in the wooden box during the Second World War or shortly after, she said, adding that the one who put it there was unknown, though.
The spokeswoman added that the museum will display the mummy of the bird in an exhibition to be held in Aachen as of December 7 for mummified whales, crocodiles, Chinese luck balls and other antique collectibles.
The looting and destruction of antiquities in Egypt has steadily increased since 2011, due to political turmoil and weak security measures. The total value of smuggled antiquities is estimated to be around US$ 6 billion annually, according to international experts.
The Ministry of Antiquities announced in April 2014 the preparation of legislation toughening punishment for the theft and smuggling of antiquities, and providing high rewards for those who report smuggled artifacts.