Egypt recovers looted pharaonic statue

CAIRO Mon Dec 9, 2013 9:44am GMT

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CAIRO (Reuters) - The Egyptian authorities have recovered a pharaonic statue looted from a museum that was ransacked during unrest touched off by the ouster of President Mohamed Mursi this summer.

The limestone statue of Ankhesenpaaten, a sister of Tutankhamun, was recovered from the home of a man who worked at a coffee shop in Khan al-Khalili, a tourist bazaar in Cairo's Islamic quarter, Ashraf Sharaf, the head of museums, said.

He said the statue, about 31 centimetres high, had suffered three cracks, adding that these were easily fixable.

The statue was one of more than a thousand artefacts stolen in August from the Malawi museum south of Cairo in Minya, 800 of which have been recovered, the antiquities ministry said.

Sharaf said the man found in possession of the statue had aimed to sell it on to an antiquities trader.

Mursi was deposed by the army on July 3 following mass protests against his rule. The museum in Malawi was looted during nationwide violence touched off by the August 14 dispersal of sit-in protests by Mursi supporters in Cairo.

(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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