A collection of artefacts stolen and smuggled out of Egypt are to be returned by Cyprus. The items will be returned to the Egyptian Embassy in Cyprus within the next days, according to an Egyptian antiquities official.

The collection comprises 14 artefacts, namely an alabaster vase and 13 amulets and some Ushabti figurines. The amulets are of different shapes, sizes and materials. The imagery of the amulets includes the goddesses Skhmet, Neith and Isis, as well as the Udjat and Djed symbols. The vase is made of alabaster and is inscribed with King Ramses II cartouche.

The whole process was initiated last year, when Interpol seized the collection of the stolen artefacts in Nicosia, according to director-general of the Antiquities Repatriation Department Shaaban Abdel Gawad. After investigations the Repatriation Department of Egypt found that the items had been illegally smuggled out of the country after 1983, when the Antiquities Law was passed, and they arrived in Cyprus in 1986. This gives Egypt the right to claim their recovery.

Cyprus has approved the return of the artefacts to Egypt.