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Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Egypt in the News on 8 December 2021

Leading the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning: A local court ordered the release of human rights advocate Patrick Zaki after almost two years in detention. The Bologna University student has been detained since February 2020 on charges relating to an article he wrote about the status of Egypt's Christians. The story is getting ink from Reuters, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal and a number of Italian news outlets (here, here, here and here) that have followed the case closely since his arrest.

Egypt is one of 11 countries that will see looted artifacts returned after a Manhattan prosecutor ordered hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt to return 180 antiquities worth an estimated USD 70 mn and barred him for life from acquiring other relics. The antiquities, many of which were stolen during periods of war or civil unrest, will be returned to their owners in Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Bulgaria. Bloomberg, the New York Times, AP and Reuters all have the story.

We smell the involvement of Matthew Bogdanos, the so-called Tomb Raider of the Upper East Side who created the antiquities trafficking unit in the Manhattan district attorney’s office out of sheer will (and a love of the spotlight). Go read this epic profile in the Atlantic (think: Zahi Hawass with a law degree and a soldier’s suit) — he’s been driving the New York art and antiquities scene bonkers for years.

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