Egyptian authorities at Cairo International Airport seized 13 archaeological manuscripts belonging to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
The seizure included three scrolls of papyrus in a poor state of preservation and a metal coin mold with a tughra dating back to the Ottoman era.
A statement by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that the archaeological unit in Terminal 1 and Cairo Airport Police received a report from the Passenger Security Police, suspecting archaeological artifacts in the possession of a passenger.
The statement added that a specialized archaeological committee was formed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and the Egyptian National Library and Archives, headed by Malak Noshy, an antiquities inspector in the Islamic Antiquities Sector, to investigate into the case.
The committee confirmed the archaeological value of the seizures, and accordingly, necessary and immediate legal measures were taken and the items confiscated by the Ministry. It also recommended that the seizures be quickly returned to the Coptic Museum for restoration and maintenance.
Noshy, head of the archaeological committee, found that the manuscripts included Islamic jurisprudence and spiritual medicine from Bishop Mikhail of Atrib.
Along with the artifacts were more manuscripts of the Great Lent’s Prayers in Coptic and in Arabic. Supplications beginning with the name of the Prophet Muhammad and another of The Holy Psalmody.