Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Antiquities Protection Draft Law Continues to Ignite Debates at PA

Originally published January 20, 2010 | Zawya | by Safaa Abdoun | Here's an excerpt of one of my favorite topics - illicit trade and private owning of antiquities:

Protection of Egypt's antiquities was the subject of heated debate at the People's Assembly as steel mogul and senior National Democratic Party MP Ahmed Ezz and Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni argued over private ownership of antiquities.

The point of contention was Article 8, which bans the trade, or any other form of disposal, of antiquities unless there is a written consent from the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA). It also states that the council has the right to take the antiquity from the owner and offer a reasonable compensation.


Minster of State for Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Councils, Mofid Shehab, proposed to add a clause to the articles which states that anyone in possession of an antiquity has to notify the council within a year of the law coming into force.

Parliament Speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour said that the crime of owning an antiquity is only punishable if the owner knows that it is an antiquity and doesn't report it, and he postponed the discussion of this article until the entire law is discussed.

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