Egypt repatriates stolen ancient artifacts from France

This undated photo released by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry shows a part of a coffin that has been returned to Egypt by France. Egypt said Thursday, June 7, 2018, that it has repatriated nine illegally smuggled artifacts, including statuary and parts of coffins, from France. Thursday's statement by the Foreign Ministry says French authorities seized them at a train station in Paris in 2012. (Egyptian Foreign Ministry via AP)

CAIRO — Egypt says it has repatriated nine illegally smuggled artifacts, including statuary and coffins, from France.

Thursday's statement by the Foreign Ministry says French authorities had seized the artifacts at a train station in Paris in 2012.

The Egyptian Antiquities Ministry says the artifacts include parts of five coffins, two statues of cats, a depiction of a human head made of basalt, and a pharaonic mask made of wood.

Egypt has drastically stepped up efforts in recent years to stop the trafficking of its antiquities. It has warned foreign museums that it will not help them mount exhibits on ancient Egyptian sites unless they return smuggled artifacts.

In November 2014, France agreed to return 239 pieces to Egypt.

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