Pharaonic tombs in Tameyah Desert in Fayoum are being raided, according to an investigation by Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The investigation found that residents in the area have encroached on historical tombs that contain stone statues, gold necklaces, a royal chair made from pure gold, kohl containers, stone pots and coffins.
The residents have been using primitive tools to search for antiquities. Al-Masry Al-Youm also obtained photos of artifacts hidden in homes and yards before being put up for sale.
The investigation comes at a time when the People’s Assembly is discussing a bill, presented by steel tycoon and NDP leader Ahmed Ezz, to amend the law on trade in artifacts. The proposed amendment would allow Egyptians to register artifacts and trade them within the country.
Al-Masry Al-Youm also penetrated an artifact trading ring based in Qena and Sohag. Members of the ring expressed readiness to smuggle one Pharaonic statue–valued at US$11 million–outside the country with the help of a foreign embassy in Cairo.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.