Egypt Reclaims Stolen 3,400-Year-Old Statue of King Ramses II

Stolen Statue

Egypt celebrated the return of a 3,400-year-old statue depicting the head of King Ramses II, which was stolen and smuggled out of the country more than three decades ago, the country’s antiquities ministry announced on Sunday. Here are some details according to the report of The Philippine Star.

Recovery of Ancient Artefact

The statue, a significant piece of ancient Egyptian history, is now back in Egypt after being located and retrieved from Switzerland. It is currently housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, though it is not yet on public display. According to the ministry, the statue will undergo restoration before it is exhibited.

The artefact was stolen from the Ramses II temple in the ancient city of Abydos in Southern Egypt, with an estimated theft date in the late 1980s or early 1990s, according to Shaaban Abdel Gawad, who heads Egypt’s antiquities repatriation department.

Egyptian authorities first became aware of the stolen statue when it was listed for sale at a London exhibition in 2013. The statue then changed hands and locations multiple times, traveling to other countries before ultimately landing in Switzerland.

“This head is part of a group of statues depicting King Ramses II seated alongside a number of Egyptian deities,” Abdel Gawad said.

Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, was one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs. He ruled from 1279 to 1213 B.C., and his reign is associated with significant building projects and military campaigns.

International Cooperation

Egypt worked closely with Swiss authorities to establish the country’s rightful ownership of the artefact. Following thorough verification, Switzerland agreed to hand over the statue to the Egyptian embassy in Bern last year. However, it was only recently that Egypt was able to bring the artefact home.

The return of the statue is part of Egypt’s ongoing efforts to reclaim stolen antiquities and preserve its cultural heritage. Egyptian officials have been actively tracking and retrieving looted artefacts from international markets, museums, and private collections.

The recovery of the Ramses II statue highlights the significance of international cooperation in the fight against illegal antiquities trafficking. This effort plays a crucial role in returning valuable artifacts to their rightful historical context.

Read Also: Recovery of Stolen $65,000 Gold Bowl: Tokyo’s Secondhand Store Leads to Breakthrough


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