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Egypt Recovers 4,000 Year Old Stolen Statue from Dutch Exhibition

The statue of an Old Kingdom priest had been illegally excavated and put up for sale at an annual event, The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

The 4,000 year old statue of an Old Kingdom priest named Nikaw-Ptah has been successfully returned to Egypt from the Netherlands, thanks to a group effort between the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian Embassy in the Hague, as part of a larger effort to recover smuggled artefacts from abroad.


It had been illegally excavated and put up for sale at an annual event, The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The statue did not belong to any of the holdings of museums or sites associated with the Supreme Council of Antiquities.


The artefact depicts the ancient priest in a standing position with his arms by his side, outfitted with a short kilt, with his name engraved in hieroglyphics on his right arm. The statue was unearthed from Saqqara and dates back to the Old Kingdom era from 2000 to 2500 BC. It is currently being studied and restored at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.