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Arrest warrant for Phoenix Ancient Art director

In 2004, Egypt sentenced Mr Aboutaam in absentia to 15 years’ imprisonment

An arrest warrant for Ali Aboutaam, co-director with his brother Hicham, of Phoenix Ancient Art which has galleries in New York and Geneva, was lodged with Interpol Egypt following a request by the Public Prosecutor in Cairo. The information was then sent to Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, on 25 May, who will circulate it to authorities in their 186 member countries. In 2004, Egypt sentenced Mr Aboutaam in absentia to 15 years’ imprisonment. He was one of 25 defendants, including nine foreigners, sentenced along with an Egyptian businessman for smuggling antiquities. Mr Aboutaam denies any knowledge of smuggling Egyptian antiquities and told The Art Newspaper that he understands there are “no more smuggling charges” in the case. Egyptian antiquities head, Zahi Hawass, recently told The Art Newspaper that Egypt is seeking a change in its law so it can claim an Egyptian mask from Saqqara from the Saint Louis Art Museum, sold to the institution by Phoenix Ancient Art.