CAIRO, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian Museum in Cairo exhibited on Monday over 400 archaeological objects local authorities seized before they were smuggled abroad.
"The pieces showcased today are a small part of objects retrieved by the ministry over the past 30 years," Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany told Xinhua at the exhibition.
This is the first exhibition of its kind to show antiquities seized at Egyptian ports by Central Administration for Archaeological Units, which works under the umbrella of the antiquities ministry.
Since it was created in 1986, the administration, which has units at the country's sea, land and air ports, has seized some 50,000 artifacts.
Meanwhile, the minister highlights the efforts taken by the ministry of antiquities as well as the police, the army, the customs service, the ministry of finance, the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of justice.
"They all have collaborated to stop looting antiquities and prevent smugglers from sending them outside of Egypt," al-Anany said, adding that the 425 objects on display include Jewish antiquities, Christian icons, Islamic artifacts, pharaonic relics and objects of Greek and Roman origin.
The minister also said his ministry is now working to stop smuggling objects outside Egypt, stressing that all legal measures to prevent the smuggling of archaeological objects are taken.
Gaith Fariz, director of UNESCO Cairo office, told reporters that Egypt can be proud of its achievements and continuing efforts in combating trafficking.
"The Egyptian efforts that have been exerted throughout the last 30 years are exemplary and are to be followed in many countries across the region and the world at large," he said.
He affirmed that UNESCO is committed to providing all possible support for Egypt in this regard.
Egypt, one of the most ancient civilizations, has been working hard to preserve and retrieve its rich historical relics, a move that may help revive the country's once-flourishing tourism largely affected by the political turmoil over the past five years.