Egypt has recovered a statue of Ramses II, stolen more than thirty years ago

 

It was smuggled out of Egyptian territory more than thirty years ago. The king’s head has traveled to many countries, including Switzerland, from where it is returning.

King Ramses II returned home. Egypt welcomed a 3,400-year-old statue of the head of King Ramses II. It was stolen and smuggled out of the country more than three decades ago, the country’s antiquities ministry said on Sunday. The statue is currently in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo but is not on display. The artifact will be restored, the ministry said in a statement.

The statue was stolen from the temple of Ramses II in the ancient city of Abydos in southern Egypt. The exact date is unknown, but Shaaban Abdel Gawad, who heads Egypt’s antiquities repatriation department, said the piece disappeared in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Egyptian authorities noticed the artifact when it was put up for sale at an exhibition in London in 2013. It then traveled to several countries before arriving in Switzerland, according to the antiquities ministry. Egypt worked with Swiss authorities to secure the statue’s legitimate ownership. Switzerland handed over the statue to the Egyptian embassy in Bern last year, but Egypt only recently brought the artifact home.

This head is part of a group of statues depicting King Ramses II. seated next to a row of Egyptian deities” said Mr. Abdel Gawad. Ramesses II was one of the most powerful pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Also known as Ramses the Great, he was the third pharaoh of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty and ruled from 1279 to 1213 BC.


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