Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



3 men arrested over attempt to steal 10-tonne statue of Egyptian pharaoh

3 men arrested over attempt to steal 10-tonne statue of Egyptian pharaoh
File photo from Jan. 25, 2018: a drone flies around a giant statue of Pharaoh Ramses II as it ...   -  
Copyright © africanews
Amr Nabil/Copyright 2018 The AP. All rights reserved.


The Egyptian authorities have arrested three people who tried to steal a 10-ton statue of Pharaoh Ramses II using a crane.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement on Tuesday that it had "ordered the detention of three defendants for four days pending investigation," accusing them of "attempting to steal a pharaonic statue" in the ancient southern city of Aswan, some 675 kilometres south of Cairo on the Nile.

According to the statement, police reported that "three people were arrested in possession of manual digging tools and heavy equipment, a crane," which they had used in an attempt to "lift the statue and excavate the antiquities in the area."

READ ALSO Egypt recovers 2,700-year-old sarcophagus lid smuggled into the US

The Aswan Antiquities Authority proved "the antiquity (of the statue) and attributed it to Ramses II, with a weight of about 10 tons," the statement added.

The prosecutor's office ordered police to "promptly investigate others involved with the suspects in the crime."

Ramses II, one of the most famous pharaohs of the 19th Dynasty, ruled for 67 years. He was known as a great warrior and prolific builder who ordered the construction of temples throughout Egypt.

Over the past decade, Egypt has recovered about 29,000 antiquities that had been illegally taken abroad.

View more