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Egypt repatriates artefact from UK which had been illegally smuggled

The relief from Luxor had been on display in an auction house in London.

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An illegally smuggled, Egyptian artefact repatriated from the United Kingdom (AP)

An illegally smuggled, Egyptian artefact repatriated from the United Kingdom (AP)

An illegally smuggled, Egyptian artefact repatriated from the United Kingdom (AP)

Egypt says it has repatriated an illegally smuggled artefact from the United Kingdom.

Tuesday’s statement from the Antiquities Ministry in Cairo says the newly-recovered relief with cartouche of King Amenhotep I from the 18th dynasty had been on display at a London auction house.

It says the relief was originally exhibited at the open museum of the ancient temple of Karnak in the city of Luxor.

It did not say how the artefact was smuggled out of the country.

The statement says the Egyptian Embassy in London received the artefact in September.

Egypt has drastically stepped up efforts in recent years to stop the trafficking of its antiquities.

It has warned foreign museums that it will not help them mount exhibits on ancient Egyptian sites unless they return smuggled artefacts.

PA Media