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Israel Returns Smuggled Antiquities to Egypt

  • VOA News

FILE - This undated photo released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry shows a part of an Egyptian sarcophagus cover in Israel. Israeli officials discovered the item in 2012 in an antique dealer's store in Jerusalem's Old City.

FILE - This undated photo released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry shows a part of an Egyptian sarcophagus cover in Israel. Israeli officials discovered the item in 2012 in an antique dealer's store in Jerusalem's Old City.

Israel returned two smuggled ancient sarcophagus covers back to Egypt Sunday, a sign of warmer relations between the two neighbors.

Israeli authorities say one of the lids dates back to the 16th to 14th centuries BC, while the other goes back to between the 10th and 8th centuries.

Israel says the process of returning the antiquities to Egypt was made easier by "the strengthening dialogue between the ministry of foreign affairs and the Embassy of Egypt in Israel."

The wooden lids were smuggled to Dubai, brought to London, and ended up in an Jerusalem antiques store, where Israeli authorities found them in 2012.

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