There is no evidence proving that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has given antiquities from the Egyptian Museum as gifts to visiting dignitaries, an Egyptian daily quoted the Antiquities Minister Mohammed Ibrahim Ali as saying on Friday.
Egypt’s antiquities belong to the people and the ministry is committed to protecting them, Ali said, urging anyone who has evidence on the allegation to report it to the general prosecutor, Egypt’s Independent reported.
The comments came following accusations directed against Mubarak and his family members over offering genuine Egyptian relics as presents to their guests.
Sobhy Attiya Younis, Dean of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Mansoura University, was amongst those who accused the former president of gifting away Egypt’s patrimony, the daily reported.
“Mubarak and his family gave many genuine relics as gifts. Whenever they expressed admiration for a certain piece, it would disappear from the Egyptian Museum,” Younis told a Shura Council’s committee on Wednesday.
Former presidents Gamal Abdul Nasser and Anwar al-Sadat had also given antiquities as gifts to their guests, Younis was quoted as saying.
According to Ali, 54 artifacts went missing from the Egyptian Museum during the Jan. 25 revolution; 25 of which have since been recovered. The Interior Ministry is coordinating with Interpol in their search for the rest of the pieces, he said, according to the English daily.