More lazy journalism on Egyptian antiquities, this time from Reuters and the Chicago Tribune. Egyptian antiquities have been widely and legally collected since at least the 19th c. and were also widely and legally collected in Egypt itself, until the Mubarak regime declared them state property in 1983. Many artifacts, particularly those of limited value, have no documentary history, let alone absolute proof that they left Egypt legally before that date. Yet, no one seems to question this assertion from one of the bureaucrats serving Egypt's military dictatorship:
[A]nyone seeking to sell an artifact of Egyptian origin should be required to produce a document showing it was lawfully exported from Egypt, whose laws permitted the trade in antiquities until 1983, when all such trade was banned.