Egypt returns 13 ancient notes to China

Egypt returned 13 pieces of smuggled ancient antiques, including ancient banknotes and bonds dating back to late 19th century, to China recently.
The Ministry of State of Antiquities
turned over coins, banknotes and bonds to the Chinese embassy in Cairo in a ceremony held in the Egyptian museum, according to Egyptian website Al Arabiya English.
The bonds are listed as Chinese heritage due to their significance to the studies of economic life in ancient Qing Dynasty.
Ahmed Al-Rawi, the head of the Antiquities Units at Egyptian ports, said the antiques handover was in accordance with the UNESCO agreement, which Egypt joined in 1972.
In October 2010, China and Egypt signed a joint agreement to combat illegal trade of historical relics, which obligate both countries to seize smuggled foreign antiques into the territories of respective nations.
Shi Yuewen, counselor of cultural affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Egypt, praised the Egyptian officials for their cooperation.
China lost many of its relics through centuries of wars, natural disasters and plunder by foreign invaders. At least 17 million pieces of Chinese cultural relics are believed scattered around the globe. UNESCO said one million are displayed as art objects in 200 different museums in 47 countries.
Government groups and wealthy collectors also frequently take part in auctions to buy back prized pieces from abroad, he added.

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