Egypt Moves To Strengthen Antiquities Laws
Theft of ancient artifacts from Egypt has been going on for centuries. Egypt first issued an antiquities law in 1835 that was meant to protect their historical treasures but it was hardly enforced and practically ignored in the 19th century when collecting Egyptian artifacts became popular. The offering of Egyptian antiquities to foreign governments became a diplomatic trend as witness by Egyptian obelisks in London and Paris. Foreign excavation missions working in Egypt acted as antiquities traders and sold vast numbers of Egyptian artefacts to their own national museums creating great ancient Egyptian collections in the Louvre, the British Museum and the Berlin Museum.
On July 1, 1912 the Egyptian government revised the laws covering the export of Egyptian antiquities in hopes of curbing the loss of cultural artifacts and quash a thriving black market.
Every antiquity from allover Egypt, on the ground, or under ground is a public property.
An antiquity is any kind of objects or buildings, reflecting an artistic, scientific, religious, and ethic evolution in Egypt, from pharaonic, graeco roman and coptic times.
The government has the right of confiscating any building or land in favour of public interest.
Findings, during legal excavations are equally shared between the excavator and the antiquities authority.
Each dealer of antiquities, must have a licence from antiquities authority.
Prohibition of export of antiquities without an official permission from antiquities authority.
Penalty of prison for a period not exceeding one year for persons causing damages to antiquities or contradicting the previous articles.
Antiquities authority belongs to the Ministry of Public Works.
This will not stop plunderers, big and small, from attempting to falsify information and smuggling items out of the country.