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Paris Customs returns 250 detained Egyptian antiques

Paris Customs returns 250 detained Egyptian antiques

PARIS: Paris Customs Authority has returned 250 detained Egyptian antiques, including amulets, rings, funerary statues and pitchers, which were illegally imported into the country, reported the Foreign Minister Romain Nadal.

Amulets, rings, funerary statues and pitchers, dating from 2000 BC to the Roman, Byzantine and Medieval eras were returned to the Egyptian embassy.

Foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said the artefacts were from “two batches of archaeological items … identified by the Louvre museum as authentic.”

French customs seized the items at Paris’s main airport Charles de Gaulle in March and November 2010, hidden in the baggage of travellers coming from Cairo.

Customs authorities said in a statement it was the third time this year that France had returned illegally imported cultural artefacts to foreign authorities.

In February, President Francois Hollande returned an extremely valuable ancient terracotta statue from Nigeria’s Nok civilisation seized by customs in 2012 to authorities in the country.