The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) received 200 artefacts from National Bank of Egypt (Al-Ahly) yesterday and has stored them in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo for restoration and documentation. Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, made the announcement.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the recovered collection was stored in the treasury of the bank since the early 20th century and that it included objects from the ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras. Among the objects are limestone statuary heads of ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman deities such as Horus, Hathor and Ptah, as well as Roman terracotta statues and twenty coins from the Islamic and Modern period. Hawass added that two archaeological and legal committees inspected the collection and confirmed the objects’ authenticity.
Chairman of the Bank, Dr. Tarek Amer, stated that these objects were in the possession of foreigners who lived in Egypt during the late 19th and early 20th century. The foreigners were obviously antiquities collectors and had stored their collection inside two treasuries of the bank. Since the early 20th century nobody had asked about the objects and they remained under the banks care until the executive board of the bank decided to offer the pieces to the SCA.
Dr. Hussein Abdel Bassir, head of the committee who inspected the objects, said that all of the objects, which were stored in three boxes in the bank’s vaults, are totally genuine and most of them are very well preserved.
The objects had been moved from the bank vaults to the Egyptian Museum basement in 3 boxes to be stored there.