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News: Egypt
The Flee to Egypt depicted in a rare, tripartite Coptic icon.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Ancient Coptic icons seized at Cairo airport

Three icons, one being elaborate, were seized on their way to the US

Customs officers at Cairo airport have seized three ancient Coptic icons that someone attempted to smuggle to the United States.

Ahmed al-Rawy, head of the Central Administration of Archaeological Units, said that the first icon is 24 x 30 cm, made of wood, the second 21 x 16 cm, also made of wood, and the third 18 x 20 cm, made of metal and placed in a wooden frame.

The first bears inscriptions of Christ sitting on a cloud, the second shows two women standing opposite each other, holding a cross and palm fronds, with halos over their heads, and the third shows the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus, with a halo and a crown over her head.

The icons were discovered when personnel became suspicious of a parcel that was being shipped to the United States. After an inspection, the three icons were found and then sent to the Ministry of Antiquities.