Saturday, February 6, 2010

Antiquities Laws Tightened

The Egyptian parliament has given in to most of the culture ministries suggestions in tightening the antiquities laws to get rid of loopholes. Last week both the minister of culture as well as the vice minister threatened to resign if the proposed loosening of antiquity laws passed.

The current Egyptian law defines an antiquity as anything older including buildings and objects more than 100 years old and all human remains are considered antiquities. In the dictionary, an antiquity is described as something before the middle ages so I guess that fits with a description of current Egyptian law.

Those Egyptians unfortunate enough to find an antiquity will now have six months to report it to the Supreme Council of Antiquities instead of the previous two years. Those Egyptians unfortunate enough to inherit their grandmother's antique tea urn will have to report it to the authorities as it is now known as an antiquity.

Using photographs of archaeological sites or artifacts for commercial purposes without the permission of the antiquities ministry is forbidden. The penalties for anyone caught, smuggling, possessing or inheriting without state permission will be fined with the fines being doubled.

Those caught writing their name on a monument will also receive severe punishment including six to twelve months in jail.

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