Call for ‘return’ of Louvre paintings to Egypt ‘outrageous’

 With thanks: Boruch

Magda Haroun, the head of the tiny Jewish community of Egypt, has asked for four paintings in the Louvre in Paris to be ‘returned’ to Egypt.

The paintings were owned by an Egyptian Jew who was killed during WWII. Mrs Haroun has written to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture  asking for the paintings to be displayed in Egypt, unless there are living heirs.

Paris-based Yves Fedida of the Nebi Daniel Association has called Mrs Haroun’s suggestion ‘rather outrageous and inadmissible.’  Mrs Haroun has not yet received an answer to her letter from the Egyptian government.

Magda Haroun endorses Egypt’s claims to Jewish property, which it considers ‘national heritage’.

As there are so few Jews still in Egypt, Mrs Haroun has for the first time opened up the Adly synagogue to the public for a Hanucah celebration.  News Africa Now reports:

 Magda Haroun: ‘our numbers are no longer great’

For the first time in decades, Egyptian non-Jews have been invited to
the Sha’ar Hashamayim Synagogue to celebrate Hanukkah Day, or Eid
al-Anwar, one of the faith’s most important holidays.

The celebration was also attended by members of the Drop of Milk
Association for the preservation of Jewish heritage, a 24-person
US-Jewish tourist delegation, and head of the Jewish community Magda
Shehata Haroun, who opened the event with a welcoming speech:

“Our number as Egyptian Jews is no longer great, but we have Muslim
and Christian friends who are interested in preserving the Jewish
heritage. They are among us today, and there are many others who joined
the Association of Drop of Milk…We have a great heritage, and
personally, I’m not worried about it, because the young people of Egypt
will preserve it,” she remarked.

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Egypt has almost completed the indexing of Jewish artefacts which Mrs Haroun has handed over to the government, Egypt Today reports:

CAIRO – 6 December 2018: Head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish
Antiquities Sector, Gamal Mostafa, presented the works of recording and documenting the fragmentsof the Jewish temples to Assistant Minister of
Antiquities for Technical Affairs, Mostafa Amin.

The authorities thwarted the ‘smuggling’ out of Egypt of this silver Torah scroll crown

This comes within the framework of the Ministry of Antiquities’ plan
to record and document the artifacts of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish
civilizations.

Amin confirmed that this is the first time that the registration of
500 Jewish artifacts from various Egyptian synagogues has been
completed.

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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

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