An ancient Egyptian artefact has been returned after being illegally smuggled out of the country and displayed in an unnamed London auction house.
In a statement on Tuesday, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities confirmed that the relic — a tablet carved with the cartouche of King Amenhotep I — had been recovered, after the ministry scoured the websites of international auction halls.
Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, general supervisor of the ministry’s antiquities repatriation department, said it took “all the necessary procedures to stop the sale of the relief and withdraw it from auction.”
It had previously been displayed at the Karnak Open Air Museum in the Egyptian city of Luxor.
The ministry closely cooperated with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Egyptian embassy in London, and British authorities to recover the artefact. It was received by the embassy in September but only arrived back in Egypt this week.