BERLIN — Germany has returned to Egypt three ancient artifacts seized by customs agents five years ago as they were being smuggled to Belgium.
The Foreign Ministry said it turned over to Egypt’s ambassador today a miniature obelisk that experts believe to be from around 2300 B.C., part of a shrine from around 1300 B.C., and a family monument from around 600 B.C. All three items, whose value wasn’t given, are thought to be from near the area of the famous Saqqara ancient burial ground near Cairo.
The items were discovered by German customs in 2009, hidden under a load of carpets in a truck. The Foreign Ministry says the antiquities had been smuggled out of Egypt through Italy and Switzerland and were on their way to Belgium to be sold.