2016 has been a good year for Egypt on the heritage preservation front!
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced its repatriation on Sunday of 340 artefacts that were smuggled out of the country, according Al-Ahram. The artefacts were intercepted by Jordanian customs at the Red Sea port of Al Aqaba last year.
Jordanian authorities had informed Egypt in late 2015 that the smuggled antiquities were discovered in a coal shipment that arrived from the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, according to Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the head of the ministry's Antiquities Department.
"The artefacts, which include stone statues and ancient coins, will be sent to the Egyptian Museum's depot for renovation," said Abdel Gawad.
Several of the pieces date back thousands of years to ancient Greece and Macedonia, and Ptolemaic Egypt. It is unclear yet whether they were stolen from Egyptian museums or illegally excavated.
In 2015, the Egyptian and Jordanian governments signed an agreement of joint cooperation to conserve and recover stolen cultural properties and combat illegal trade in artefacts.
Early this month, Egypt repatriated another batch of smuggled artefacts from the U.S.