Egypt has asked Israel to return 126 ancient artifacts to be auctioned off at Jerusalem auction houses, Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said.
Speaking to Ahram Online Saturday, Ibrahim said he had contacted Interpol and sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking to assist in halting the sale of the artifacts. He demanded Israel return the artifacts to Egypt immediately.
Ali Ahmed, director-general of the Repatriation of Antiquities department of the country's Ministry of Antiquities, said the sale of the artifacts was discovered during an online Internet search of international auction halls conducted periodically, Ahram Online said. On its website Eweda displayed 110 artifacts for auction and Bidoon 16, he said.
Egypt insists Israel investigate if the artifacts were obtained legally.
There has been no official Israeli response to the allegations.
Ahram Online said the artifacts include ancient clay vessels, vases, ushabti burial figurines and stelae.