Egypt Parliament Acts to Confront Online Sale of Antiquities

An artifact that was displayed at foreign auctions. (Dr. Abdul Rahim Rayhan)
An artifact that was displayed at foreign auctions. (Dr. Abdul Rahim Rayhan)
TT

Egypt Parliament Acts to Confront Online Sale of Antiquities

An artifact that was displayed at foreign auctions. (Dr. Abdul Rahim Rayhan)
An artifact that was displayed at foreign auctions. (Dr. Abdul Rahim Rayhan)

The Egyptian parliament has taken new measures to confront the online sale of antiquities through social networking sites, based on a request submitted by a deputy who called for “decisive steps” to confront this phenomenon.

In his request, MP Hisham Hussein renewed warnings about the spread of websites selling antiquities on the Internet, saying that while some of these accounts offered fake items, others displayed genuine artifacts, including royal tombstones and coins.

Antiquities expert Dr. Abdel Rahim Rayhan, member of the Supreme Council of Culture, History and Antiquities Committee and head of the Campaign to Defend Egyptian Civilization, confirmed that the pieces offered for sale in public auctions or online sites have spread greatly since the January 2011 uprising, as a result of illegal excavation.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said: “Due to the huge amount of antiquities that have been secretly removed from excavations, websites that openly sell antiquities have spread.”

Rayhan stressed the need for an immediate intervention by the security authorities to monitor and track down the suspicious networks, who he said were linked to external gangs run by archaeologists, legal experts and marketing specialists and promote the sale and smuggling of antiquities.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior announced the seizure of several artifacts from individuals, as well as the arrest of a number of people selling archeological items through online platforms.

Antiquities Protection Law No. 117 of 1983 and its amendments regulate the work of archaeological excavations above ground, underground, and in Egyptian internal and territorial waters, under the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Rayhan stressed the need to take decisive measures to tighten control over online sales and track down the illegal merchants, including individuals collaborating with foreign networks, and to amend the Antiquities Protection Law to consider the crime of secret excavation as high treason.

UNESCO issued a report in 2020 saying that the antiquities trade is valued at about USD 10 billion every year, while art and antiquities are the third largest black market in the world after drugs and weapons.



Hira Cultural District Launches ‘Summer of Hira’ Events

Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world  - SPA
Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world - SPA
TT

Hira Cultural District Launches ‘Summer of Hira’ Events

Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world  - SPA
Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world - SPA

The Hira Cultural District on Saturday launched the activities of “Summer of Hira,” which will run until Saturday, August 8th.

The events, designed to cater to both residents and visitors of the Makkah Region, include various activities such as 360-degree corners, ice cream and juice service, camel and horse rides, painting workshops, calligraphy sessions, and displays by productive families. Additionally, there will be a kids’ zone, a caravan, and events featuring pets, birds, and a photo contest, SPA reported.

Visitors can also experience a unique cultural journey at the Revelation Exhibition, which features life-sized models of the Cave of Hira and a large screen narrating the story of the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world, showcasing Saudi Arabia's advancements in developing historical sites and enriching the religious and cultural experience of its guests. The district offers a unique and enriching experience, providing an entertaining, cultural, and historical journey into the past that leaves a lasting impression.
Spanning approximately 67,000 square meters, it accommodates a diverse range of tourists from various nationalities and social segments.