Illicit trafficking in artifacts is not only linked to the times of wars and conflicts that occurred in the Arab States like Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria but it is also linked to different periods of time when many ancient Egyptian antiquities were traded legally as there was no law regulating or prohibiting its sales.
Throughout history, artifacts of ancient Egyptians, Yemenis, and Iraqi people have fallen victim to theft and trafficking.
When Napoleon's army conquered Egypt, the French mission discovered many treasures and obtained several pieces of artifacts that were smuggled out of the country to France.
The era of Mohammad Ali Pasha witnessed the gifting of many Egyptian monuments to the rulers and leaders of many countries in Europe, according to Egyptologists.
In the 1800s, the great ruler of Egypt awarded some obelisks that were present in Alexandria to be gifted to the government of England, and other precious antiques were devoted to France.
Since 2003, thousands of ancient artifacts were also smuggled and transported out of Iraq and some of these treasures are showcased today in London Museum.
This illicit theft and sale of antiquities have predominantly been experienced in countries across the Arab world and MENA.
Contributed by Ahmed Emam