Sixty-eight artifacts seized in Minya

The antiquities and tourism police in Minya, Upper Egypt, seized 68 artifacts from the Greek and Roman eras from a shop owner’s house Monday . A report was made of the incident and the defendant was referred to the prosecution for investigation.

Security sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that a committee from the Antiquities Ministry confirmed that the seized pieces are artifacts and that sale or ownership of them is against the law.

Last month, Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali said that two percent of historical artifacts held in government storehouses were stolen during the period of lax security that followed the 25 January revolution.

Since January 2011, the Antiquities Minister has blamed increased artifact theft across Egypt on the security vacuum.

In March, the ministry said an estimated 800 artifacts from the Pharaonic, Roman and Islamic eras had been damaged or stolen since last February.

A statement issued by the ministry last April said the ministry did not have accurate statistics for the number of pieces stolen since the beginning of the 25 January revolution.

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