Youm 7 reported on Saturday that an Egyptian antiquities ministry official and three security personnel are to face trial over charges of theft and smuggling of a Middle Kingdom limestone statue from antiquities storerooms at Egypt’s archaeological site of Memphis, and replacing the original there with a replica. The statue of an ancient Egyptian couple was bought by a Belgian collector who failed to determine how the object had entered the market. The collector and dealer from whom he bought it have not been named.
The statue, alongside other four artifacts, had been unearthed by the U.S. mission in 2011 before they were handed over for the inspector to store them [...], the disappearance of the double statue was revealed after a curator in the British Museum in London told Nagwan Bahaa Fayez, a member of the U.S. mission who was visiting the museum to display photos for the team’s discoveries in 2011, that he saw the statue with a Belgian antiquity collector. The Administrative Prosecution formed a committee to inspect the U.S. mission’s storehouse in Memphis. The committee confirmed the statue had been replaced by a replica. Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigative Unit at the Egyptian Museum has confirmed that the statue has been stolen and smuggled outside Egypt.Cairo Post 'Antiquities inspector, 3 guards stand trial over theft of 3,600 year-old statue', Apr. 23, 2016