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France returns five ancient artifacts to Egypt

Earlier this year, Egypt has recovered 90 artifacts that were put on sale in Jerusalem

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France has returned to Egypt five artifacts from the Ptolemaic dynasty (300 BC) that were smuggled out of the country after the 2011 uprising, an Egyptian official said Wednesday.

“The team in charge of monitoring sales of artifacts identified five pieces dating from the Ptolemaic dynasty on Internet websites, two of which were being auctioned in the city of Toulouse,” said Ali Ahmed, at the ministry of antiquities.

Three pieces are the head, torso and arms of a glass statue of a human stolen from where they were kept after their discovery by French archaeologists in 2010.

The other two pieces were stolen from a French archaeological storehouse in Egypt.

During the 18-day revolt that ousted Hosni Mubarak, several Egyptian museums were pillaged, including the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities near Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicenter of the demonstrations.

Numerous ancient objects were either damaged or stolen and later smuggled out of the country.

In November, Egypt said it recovered 90 artifacts that had been put on sale by a Jerusalem auction house. Others pieces have been returned by Britain and Germany.