CAIRO – Egypt has recovered an ancient Egyptian limestone relief that dates back to the era of Pharaoh Nectanebo II (360-342 BC), the third and last ruler of the 30th Dynasty and the last native ruler of Egypt.
The relief was stolen from a temple in the necropolis of Saqqara in the province of Giza during the 1900s and was on display in a Paris auction house, Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, the general supervisor of the antiquities repatriation department at the Egyptian ministry of antiquities, explained in a statement on Tuesday.
“The newly recovered relief was on display at one of Paris auction houses. The ministry took all the necessary procedures to stop the sale of such relief and withdraw it from auction,” added the ministry’s statement.
The relief is carved in limestone and is about 44x50 centimeters (17.3x19.6 inches) in size and weighs about 80 kilograms (176 pounds).
It depicts the goddess Sekhmet carrying the sun disk on top of her head and a line of hieroglyphic writing that contains Pharaoh Nectanebo II’s cartouche (a text indicating a royal name enclosed in an oval shaped figure).
Abdel-Gawad added that the ministry has also received a collection of 44 small to medium-sized artifacts seized at Charles de Gaulle airport.
The collection includes cosmetic and jewelry containers made of beads, ivory, and bone.