News from Berlin

Germany Hands Back Art Pieces to Egypt

May 06th, 2014

News from Berlin - German Minister of State Maria Bohmer gave three illegally acquired art pieces back to the Egyptian Ambassador to Germany Mohamed Higazy during a celebratory event at the Auswärtiges Amt, the German foreign ministry. The objects are a stele, a small shrine with statues and a mini-obelisk. They were illegally exported from Egypt and were found and confiscated by customs officers at the German-Swiss border. Böhmer was happy that the art pieces will return to Egypt so they can be publicly displayed in museums.

Professor Seyfried, a German Egyptologist, provided some more details concerning the origins of the pieces. All three pieces originate from Saqqara. The oldest piece, the miniature obelisk is thought to be from the third century BC and was probably used as decoration in a tomb. The stele (650 BC) was probably part of a family tree and portrays about thirteen persons. Finally, the small shrine is carved with prayers and is from 2000 BC. The niche in the middle is thought to have contained the statue of a god.

Additionally, Minister Böhmer spoke of the dangers of the illegal trade of art around the world. It not only damages cultural heritage sites, but the illegal export of art irrevocably damages the integrity of a country’s cultural heritage. The Egyptian Ambassador praised Germany’s handing over of the pieces. It is a ‘proof of German integrity’. He also thanked Minister Böhmer’s efforts in maintaining the good relationship between Germany and Egypt.

News from Berlin - Berlin Global