We’ve all done it, returned home from a wonderful holiday and realised the beautiful souvenirs we spent a lot of money purchasing, now look tacky and useless. However, according to an article in the Evening Standard last week a couple returning from Egypt took souvenir buying to the extreme when they tried to leave the country with priceless Egyptian relics.
The British citizens were stopped and searched at the airport by police, who discovered coins, statues and pottery in the couple’s luggage, all of which were over 2,000 years old. The couple claimed the pieces were simply souvenirs which they had purchased for friends whilst visiting the famous and historic ‘Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens’ Burial Sites. Unfortunately, during an argument which broke out during the search, a few of the priceless pieces were damaged; the couple now face charges from the Egyptian authorities.
If you like to collect holiday souvenirs, or if you’re always tempted to buy some kind of item, think about the following before you buy;
. Will your purchase help the local community? If you are a frequent traveller you may see similar stands at all top tourist destinations, offer mass produced items. Instead, why not look for local stalls and crafts people offering handmade and unique items? Buying these items will help the local community and give you an item full of memories.
. Am I allowed to own this item? Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it is legal for you to own it or leave the country with it. For example, we all know that the Ivory trade is illegal, but so it the harvest of some protected shells and coral.
. Am I being scammed? You have to be really careful that you aren’t scammed into buying stolen, fake or overpriced merchandise. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is and you could be helping to fund crime!
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