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Egypt says stolen pharaonic tablet repatriated from United Kingdom
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on January 9, 2019, shows a pharaonic tablet repatriated from the UK after being spotted on online auction sites. AFP Photo.

CAIRO (AFP).- An ancient Egyptian pharaonic stone tablet that was stolen from Karnak temple was repatriated this week from Britain where it had been touted for sale, Egypt's antiquities ministry said.

"The piece was last seen in the open museum in Luxor temple in the early 1990s," Shaaban Abdel Gawad, who is in charge of archaeological collections at the ministry, told AFP on Wednesday.

"The necessary legal measures" were taken to recover the object, he added.

The artefact was stolen from the Karnak temple's open museum and was spotted on online auction sites, the ministry said.

The sale was cancelled, the statement said.

The artefact is part of a cartouche -- an ornamental tablet -- of Pharoah Amenhotep I, of the 17th dynasty, who ruled in the 16th century BC.

The antiquities ministry said that the piece had been retrieved by Egypt's London embassy in September 2018 in coordination with British authorities.

Egypt regularly retrieves stolen archaeological treasures from abroad.

Cairo is still campaigning for the repatriation of key items, including some on display in European museums, such as the celebrated bust of Queen Nefertiti in Berlin.

© Agence France-Presse

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