Saturday, January 3, 2009

Australian Antiquities Dealer Arrested In Egypt

A 61-year old Australian antiquities dealer "has been arrested in Egypt for allegedly trying to smuggle two 2300-year-old animal mummies and religious figurines out of the country" (Selma Milovanovic "Antiques dealer faces 15 years in an Egyptian jail", Sydney Morning Herald December 26, 2008).
According to local reports, when security officials opened the suspect suitcase, they allegedly found mummies of a cat and an ibis, both dating back to 300BC. They also allegedly found 19 figurines of the ancient Egyptian gods of Horus and Thoth, wrapped as gifts.
The individual was due to take a flight to Thailand.

The Herald Sun (Australia) reported (January 1, 2009):
A MELBOURNE man arrested in Egypt after allegedly trying to smuggle animal mummies out of the country has been released on bail. Frank Bottaro, 61, a successful Armadale antiquities dealer, will likely have to stay in the country until he appears in court.
See also:

4 comments:

Nathan T. Elkins said...

Hi David,

I remember
this news article from 2005
about masses of Egyptian antiquities that were smuggled out of the country and sold. A number of them turned up in Australia. Do you know if there is a connection?

Best,
Nathan

David Gill said...

Nathan
The news article you cite seems to hint at this story: Jewel Topsfield, "Priceless tale, or bloody mistake, as Canberra hands back 'valuable artefacts'", The Age (Melbourne, Australia) July 20, 2005.

S said...

Hi all and happy new year!

I think that Nathan talk about this (Ali Abouttam, now in Jail in Sofia?): http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DE0DF173CF930A15751C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=8

Paul Barford said...

I think there is a connection, see Selma Milovanovic 'Egypt could jail Australian dealer for 15 years', Sydney Morning Herald December 26, 2008. There's a photo of Mr Bottaro there.

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