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Theft of Artefacts Now Comes with Life Sentence & EGP 5 Million Fine

A new law will punish anyone who steals an Ancient Egyptian artefact with a life sentence and EGP 5 million fine, while those who demolish or move an artefact will get up to seven years in prison.

Parliament approved a new law that will punish anyone who steals an artefact will receive a life sentence and a fine between EGP 1 million to EGP 5 million.

Furthermore, people who demolish or move a piece of antiquity or carry out unlicensed excavations will be sentenced to three to seven years in prison, and pay a fine between EGP500,000 to one million.

In July 2020, an Egyptian-American citizen attempted to smuggle hundreds of ancient Egyptian artefacts inside a dirt-caked suitcase on his flight back to the US. In 2018, over 23,700 artefacts were smuggled from Alexandria to Naples by Ladislav Otakar Skakal, Italy’s former honorary consul in Luxor.

And while these high-profile cases stand out, this is an ongoing issue on every level. In total, Egypt has lost USD3 billion in stolen artefacts between 2011 and 2014.