AboutActivitiesNewsLinksJoin us  

Illegal trade of Egyptian antiquities

Hyperallergic (19/02/2019): The Metropolitan Museum will return prized gilded coffin after learning it was stolen.

The Guardian (16/04/2020): Oxford Professor arrested on suspicion of ancient papyrus theft.

Hyperallergic (28/01/2021): Museum of Bible Returns 5,000 Artifacts With "Insufficient" Provenance to Egypt.

The Atlantic (23/11/2021): The tomb raiders of the upper East Side: inside the Manhattan DA's Antiquities Tafficking Unit.

Blue Shield International (31/01/2022): The Belgian National Committee of the Blue Shield has submitted an open letter to the Belgian Minister of the Interior regarding illicit trafficking of cultural heritage.

ARTnews (26/05/2022): Former Louvre Museum Director officially charged in alleged antiquities trafficking investigation.

Hyperallergic (26/05/2022): Former Louvre President charged in antiquities trafficking case.

Hyperallergic (01/06/2022): NY District Attorney's office seizes allegedly looted antiquities from the Met.

Al-Monitor (05/06/2022): Egypt demands return of king Tut artifact amid former Louvre director scandal.


Canopic jars from the KHM Wien

The complete set of canopic jars, which went missing from the Kunsthistorische Museum Vienna (KHM) between 1921 and 1951, reappeared in an auction in Munich at Gorny & Mosch. ICOM Austria is requesting the return of the objects to the KHM.

Further information:

Gorny & Mosch: Gorny &  Mosch Auktion 272 "Kunst der Antike, Afrika, Asiatica", Lot 278: Kanopen.

Der Standard (12/07/2020): Dubiose Deals mit archäologischen Funden aus Ägypten.

ARCA Auction Alert (15/07/2020): Gorny & Mosch - four canopic jars of Djed-Ka-Re, Vizier of Upper Egypt.

Handelsblatt (17/07/2020): Die dubiosen Deals des Herrn Demel: Im Kunsthistorischen Museum in Wien laufen Recherchen zu einem historischen Kriminalfall. Ein Sammlungsleiter verkaufte illegal gut 2000 Objekte, darunter altägyptische Krüge. Sie sollen jetzt in München versteigert werden.

The Art Newspaper (21/07/2020): Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum seeks to recover ancient Egyptian jars before auction



The lure of ancient Egypt and faded industrial towns (21 January 2019)


Fire in National Museum of Brazil, Rio de Jeneiro

The destruction by fire of the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro is a great tragedy.

The historic building housed ca. 20 million objects including a significant collection of Egyptian antiquities.

 The International Committee of Egyptology (CIPEG) in ICOM offers to serve as a collecting point for any archival material regarding the Egyptian collection to assist the museum. CIPEG appeals to anyone who has material relating to this collection to share it. 

Please send any data to:


26 May 2016
Dear CIPEG members and friends,
Alice Stevenson, Curator at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology asked me to circulate the following amongst CIPEG members in order to gather different national perspectives:
Stephen Quirke and I are organising a small workshop here at UCL that is going to work towards making recommendations to UK government on protecting antiquities in the UK. We want to ensure that the sad case of Sekhemka does not happen again.
One of the things that we are interested in is finding comparative examples from other countries about national legislation relating to the preservation of antiquities. Are there any obligations of ownership imposed by the state on public and/or private collections on conserving, selling, acquiring etc. antiquities for example? What safeguards are in place to ensure public collections are not sold off for commercial gain?
Please write to Alice if you can help: alice.stevenson@ucl.ac.uk
Best wishes,


3.1 Egypt 2011 -- 2017 AD

September 2017

Fatwa allowing illegal antiquities excavation triggers ire in Egypt

February 2016

Egyptian Museum, Cairo Photo Policy

Egyptian Museum, Cairo Study Policy


July 2014

Egypt asks Ashmolean museum to lend it personal collection of Howard Carter

April 2014

Notice of Receipt of Cultural Property Request From the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt

A Federal Register Notice by the State Department

Egypt, concerned that its cultural heritage is in jeopardy from pillage, made a request to the Government of the United States under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The United States Department of State received this request in April 2014. Egypt's request seeks U.S. import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological material from Egypt representing its prehistoric through Ottoman heritage. 

The specific contents of this request are treated as confidential government-to-government information, consistent with applicable U.S. law. 

Information about U.S. implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention can be found at http://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center. A public summary of Egypt's request will be posted on that Web site. 

Dated: April 8, 2014.
Kelly Keiderling,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State


March 2014

Stolen Egyptian artefacts recovered from the US

January 2014

An ICOM / UNESCO / Blue Shield emergency mission to assess the damage to the National Library of Egypt and Islamic Museum in Cairo

Video of damage to the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo including comments by CIPEG's Regine Schulz

Egypt conducts global search for stolen antiquities

September 2013

List of stolen objects from the Mallawi National Museum

August 2013

Resolution No. 5
Protection of Cultural Heritage during and
after Armed Conflict, Revolution and Civil Strife

Latest Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk

11 May 2012

Presentation of the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk

Red List

The ICOM “Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk” was launched on February 6th, in Cairo.
An ICOM Emergency Red List does not present artefacts that had been stolen!  It is a different type of tool for international customs and police officers as well as for art dealers and collectors: It focuses on those species of heritage objects which are most threatened by thieves and illicit trafficers.
The Red List Egypt was compiled in close cooperation between ICOM Paris and a small working group of CIPEG. The official launch took place at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Cairo, Egypt, in the presence of the Minister of State for Antiquities, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Ali, ICOM Director General Julien Anfruns, representatives of CIPEG and local heritage institutions, national and international experts, police and customs officials, partners of the project and the media.
The “Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk” has a print run of 10,000 copies and will be available in four languages (English, Arabic, French and German). It will be distributed worldwide to police and customs officials, art and heritage professionals and other concerned parties, and is available to download free of charge on ICOM’s online Red List webpage and database.


CIPEG report

List of Objects Missing from the Egyptian Museum as of 3 May 2011

UNESCO mobilizes experts and civil society partners to safeguard heritage in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya

List of stolen objects from the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (Egypt)

UNESCO calls on art dealers and collectors to be on the alert for stolen Egyptian artefacts

CIPEG statement

ICOM statement

Blue Shield statement

Interview with Regine Schulz

3.2 Conferences, Symposia, Workshops, Lectures and Schools