The secretary general of the Egyptian Higher Antiquities Council, Gaballah Gaballah, has confirmed that more than 20 foreign missions have applied for permits to dig for ancient artifacts at various sites nationwide since the Sept. 11 attacks on the US, according to the daily Al Ahram.
Gaballah said the Egyptian Antiquities Permanent Committee had approved the requests, adding that some of these teams had actually received their permits and begun work.
“What has been published by some Italian papers that Egypt had stopped some missions’ work is baseless. The missions engaged in restoration or excavation are working safely without any restrictions by either the Higher Antiquities Council or security authorities,” said Gaballah.
Earlier, the Italian ambassador in Cairo denied allegations by an Italian staff person that were published by some Italian papers. The source had asserted that Egypt had frozen the work of foreign archeological missions.
The ambassador reiterated that Egypt was a safe country - Albawaba.com