In photos: Five Qurans from Ottoman era seized at Cairo International Airport

An attempt to smuggle a collection of five Ottoman era Qurans from Ethiopia failed Saturday at Cairo International Airport.

Ahmed al-Rawi, head of the Antiquities Units at Egyptian Ports, explained that the five Qurans were found in three parcels and were seized at Cairo International Airport’s cargo village on Saturday.

The archaeological committee of the Cairo Antiques Unit later verified the packages’ authenticity.

Hamdy Hamam, director general of the Antiquities Unit at Cairo International Airport, described the five Qurans saying they were written in Naskh handwriting- a style of Arabic cursive writing- and leather-bound, adding that some of the seized Qurans were not organized according to the Quran’s normal index but were just a collection of some of the Quran’s verses.

The seized Qurans were found in “a very bad state of conservation and are in dire need of restoration work,” Hamam said.

Six sword hilts carved from animal bones were also found in the parcels, as well as a water container made of leather.

All the seized artifacts are now being held for further investigation.

Leather-bound Quran
Ottoman-era Quran during inspection
Water container and sword hilts

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