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Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk

The fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods requires the enhancement of both legal instruments and practical tools disseminating information and raising public awareness.

The Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk aims to help art and heritage professionals and law enforcement officials identify Egyptian objects that are protected by national and international legislations. In order to facilitate identification, the Emergency Red List describes the categories or types of cultural items that are most likely to be illegally bought and sold.

Museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors are encouraged not to acquire these objects without having carefully and thoroughly researched their origin and all the relevant legal documentation. Due to the great diversity of objects, styles and periods, the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk is far from exhaustive. Any cultural good that could have originated in Egypt should be subjected to detailed scrutiny and precautionary measures.

 

Download the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk in English

Download the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk in Arabic

Download the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk in French

Download the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk in German

Context

Egypt is home to a world-renowned and diverse cultural heritage. Preventing the smuggling and illicit trafficking of the country’s cultural objects is a constant preoccupation. Now, faced with an extraordinary situation, Egyptian heritage requires increased protection.

Vulnerable Egyptian artefacts range from those relating to daily life to those of a religious or ceremonial nature. They may be taken from archaeological sites and museums, or similar institutions. Artefacts originating from any of the nation’s historical periods are highly sought-after, most common amongst them are those from the Pharaonic and Nubian era, as well as Graeco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic periods.

Egypt recognises that the illicit excavation of archaeological sites destroys an object’s context and diminishes its cultural and historical significance. The resulting gaps in knowledge impoverish the understanding of Egypt’s rich past and, consequently, important chapters in the development of mankind. Since 1869, Egypt has created and further enhanced the legal framework protecting its cultural heritage. The Egyptian government has multiplied efforts aimed at countering illicit trafficking, thus demonstrating its long-term commitment to the protection of the nation’s heritage.

 

Despite these efforts, theft, looting and illegal export remain constant threats. Fighting the illicit trade in cultural goods is a global responsibility to protect and preserve Egypt’s rich heritage, one that provides insight into the cultural, artistic, scientific and historical evolution of all mankind.