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.