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Egypt recovers the statue of Ramses II, stolen more than thirty years ago

King Ramses II returned home.

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Egypt recovers the statue of Ramses II, stolen more than thirty years ago

King Ramses II returned home. Egypt welcomed a 3,400-year-old statue of the head of King Ramses II. It had been stolen and smuggled out of the country more than three decades ago, the country's antiquities ministry said on Sunday. The statue is currently in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, but is not on display. The artifact will be restored, the ministry said in a statement. The statue was stolen from the temple of Ramesses II in the ancient city of Abydos in southern Egypt. The exact date is not known, but Shaaban Abdel Gawad, who heads Egypt's antiquities repatriation department, said the piece disappeared in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Egyptian authorities spotted the he artifact when it was put up for sale at an exhibition in London in 2013. It then traveled to several countries before arriving in Switzerland, according to the Ministry of Antiquities. Egypt worked with Swiss authorities to establish legitimate ownership of the statue. Switzerland handed over the statue to the Egyptian embassy in Bern last year, but only recently did Egypt bring the artifact home.

“This head is part of a group of statues depicting King Ramesses II seated alongside a number of Egyptian deities,” Mr. Abdel Gawad said. Ramesses II was one of the most powerful pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Also known as Ramses the Great, he was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt and reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC.

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