Egypt: Smuggling of Five Ottoman Era Qurans Foiled

Published June 18th, 2017 - 03:00 GMT
Ancient copies of the Quran displayed in a tunnel at Jabl-e-Noor. (AFP)
Ancient copies of the Quran displayed in a tunnel at Jabl-e-Noor. (AFP)

The Customs Authority at Cairo International Airport has foiled a smuggling attempt of a collection of five Ottoman era Qurans, found in three parcels arriving from Ethiopia.

Ahmed Al-Rawi, head of the Antiquities Units at Egyptian Ports, explained that the parcels were seized in the cargo village at Cairo International Airport earlier today. When the archaeological committee of the Cairo Antiquities Units inspected the packages they verified their authenticity.

Hamdi Hamam, director general of the Antiquities Unit at Cairo International Airport, explained that the parcels include five Qurans from the Ottoman era written in large Naskh handwriting (a style of cursive calligraphy) on old paper and covered with leather.

He pointed out that some of the seized Quran were not organised according to the Quran's normal index but were a grouping of the Quran's verses.

Hamam said that the five seized Qurans are in a very bad state of conservation and are in dire need of restoration work.

Six handles of old swords carved in animals bones were also found in the parcels, as well as a water container made of animal leather.

El-Rawi said all the artefacts are now being held as investigations continue.


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