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Accord with Egypt on Antiquities

July 23, 1979
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An agreement in principle has been reached that will allow Israeli museums to display some of the priceless antiquities belonging to the remnants of the once flourishing Jewish community in Egypt, it was disclosed here by Philip Klutznick, president of the World Jewish Congress. Klutznick, who arrive in Israel last week after a visit to Egypt, said he had raised the matter with President Anwar Sadat after viewing some of the treasures which he found in a sad state of neglect.

Klutznick said that during visits to synagogues and other Jewish communal institutions in Egypt he found uncounted numbers of rare manuscripts, scrolls and ornaments but no one to look after them. He said that Sadat, on hearing of this, appointed his bureau chief, Mansour Hassan, to look into the matter. An agreement in principle was reached by which the WJC’s Commission on Jewish Heritage in cooperation with the Union of Sephardi Communities would undertake the task of cataloguing and registering the items. It is believed that the Museum of the Diaspora will be the first to display the items.

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