Egypt recovers 3,500-year-old stone tablet smuggled out of the country in 1988

An ancient stone tablet that was illegally smuggled out of Egypt 31 years ago has been returned, the country announced Wednesday.

An ancient stone tablet that dates back 3,500 years was found for sale at an auction house in London. Egypt stopped the sale and brought it back to Egypt. Photo by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Facebook
An ancient stone tablet that dates back 3,500 years was found for sale at an auction house in London. Egypt stopped the sale and brought it back to Egypt. Photo by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Facebook

The carved stone tablet from the reign of King Amenhotep I was found for sale at an auction house in London. Amenhotep ruled Egypt from 1526 to 1506 BC.
Egypt originally had the tablet on display at an open-air museum in the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor. It was stolen in 1988 and smuggled out of the country.

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry in Cairo thanked British authorities and the Egyptian embassy in London for stopping the piece from being sold. The ministry has cracked down on stolen items in recent years, saying it won’t help museums around the world stage Egyptian exhibits if they are found stealing smuggled objects.

The tablet was originally found in September.

ByNicholas Sakelaris