Cairo officials rescue 3 ancient Coptic icons from smuggling

July 31, 2013 at 12:47 PM

CAIRO, July 31 (UPI) -- Cairo airport customs officials said Wednesday they confiscated three ancient Coptic icons that a traveler tried to smuggle to the United States.

The Egyptian publicly funded Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported customs workers became suspicious of a parcel that was to be shipped to the United States, said Customs Chief Mohamed al-Shahat.

The icons were seized and sent to Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.

The first icon, made of wood, includes a depiction of Christ sitting on a cloud and measures 9.5 x 12 inches, said Ahmed al-Rawy, head of the Central Administration of Archaeological Units.

The second, also wooden, depicts two haloed women standing opposite each other, holding a cross and palm fronds and measures approximately 8 x 6 inches.

The third, made of metal, pictures the Virgin Mary, with a crown and halo over her head, carrying Jesus, and measures approximately 7 x 8 inches.

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