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News: Repatriated antiquities
The recovered Ushabti figurine. Photo Credit: Ahram online.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Ushabti figurine found in London to be returned

The artefact had been stolen from Aswan

An ancient Ushabti statue that had been missing from an Aswan museum has been found in London and returned to Egypt. The statue had been taken from the museum storage room in 2013. The owner of the statue voluntarily returned it to the Egyptian Embassy in London once they found out it had been stolen.

The announcement of the recovery was made on Sunday by the Antiquities Ministry.

The artefact is over 3,800 years old and was unearthed by Spanish archaeologist at the Aswan Necropolis Qubbet al-Hawa. It dates back to the Middle Kingdom, the 12th Dynasty, and is a funerary figurine. It is carved from wood and bears golden decorative inscriptions. It is 16.5 cm tall.

Ushabti statues are also known as Shabtis. They were put in tombs with the purpose of serving the dead in the afterlife.

Several other Ushabtis have been taken out of Egypt and some have been voluntarily returned to Egypt. In the past month, Egyptian authorities say they have recovered seven Ushabtis from America, Switzerland and the UAE. There are other occasions, however, like the one where several Ushabtis were sold at Christie’s Auction House in New York in 2016.