Month of November, 2011
Following comprehensive investigations carried out by the Tourism and Antiquities Police (TAP), a collection of missing ancient Egyptian artefacts were recovered buried by antiquity smugglers in the desert south of Saqqara necropolis. According to a release submitted by TAP, the restituted collection includes of an anthropoid painted wood sarcophagus, two wooden statues depicting the god Ptah and seven pieces of inscribed limestone which were parts of a false door. The objects were stolen from Saqqara necropolis and taken out of the archaeological space in order to be sold.
After a decade of lying hidden in storehouses at auction halls in Melbourne, Australia, a collection of 122 ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman artefacts is to return to Egypt on 5 November. An archaeological mission led by Ahmed Mostafa, director general of the Retrieved Antiquities Department at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), travelled early Friday to Melbourne to receive the items which are now at the Egyptian embassy in the city.
Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of the Supreme Committee of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), has been removed from his post following protests by employees. Protests had accelerated over the last two days after the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) had refused to meet the protesters’ demands of a bonus every three months, a 15 per cent rise in incentives, and the resignation of Abdel-Maqsoud. GEM employees sent a petition to Mustafa Amin, the SCA secretary general, asking for a reshuffle of the committee as its members were disrupting the GEM project and were remnants of the old regime.