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April 18, 2014 3:03 pm

Egyptian Authorities Intercept Attempted Smuggling of Jewish Artifacts

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Siebenbergs display artifacts spanning two thousand years of Jerusalem's history. Photo: Tzuriel Cohen-Arazi, Tazpit News Agency

JNS.org Several dozen Jewish artifacts were intercepted by Egyptian authorities before they could be smuggled out of the country.

According to a statement by Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, authorities found the Jewish artifacts during a cargo search in Damietta, a port city on the Mediterranean. The items were allegedly being smuggled to Belgium.

In pictures posted on the archaeological blog Luxor Times, the artifacts include 11 silver inlaid cylindrical wooden boxes that are decorated with Hebrew inscriptions and were used to hold Torah scrolls. Other items include a silver crown and knives from the late 19th century and a number of bells that were used in synagogues.

Egypt, like other Middle East countries ravaged by recent upheavals, has seen many of its ancient artifacts and important archaeological sites stolen or damaged.

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