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Ancient coins were replaced with fakes between 2001-2002 — PM

By Raed Omari - Feb 09,2016 - Last updated at Feb 09,2016

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour (left) is seen behind the Jordanian flag as he listens to MPs' remarks during a Lower House session on Tuesday (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Tuesday said ancient coins were replaced with fakes in national museums in the capital some 15 years ago.

Responding to MPs' inquiries into the case during Tuesday's Lower House oversight session, Ensour said around 315 ancient coins were replaced by fake ones between 2001 and 2002, adding that the case was immediately referred to the judiciary at the time. 

The premier added that the coins had originally been in many museums across the country and had been "probably substituted by fake ones during the distribution of artefacts to museums".

The House Integrity Committee recently asked Tourism and Antiquities Minister Nayef Al Fayez to provide a list of the ancient artefacts, coins and antiquities that are displayed in the Kingdom’s museums.

The request was made following the discovery of fake ancient gold and silver coins in the Citadel Museum in Amman recently, according to MP Amjad Al Khattab (Maan, 1st District).

“There were 401 ancient coins in the Citadel Museum, and someone replaced 400 of these priceless pieces with fake ones,” Khattab told The Jordan Times over the phone last week.

Responding to MPs’ complaints about traffic congestion in Amman, Ensour said the Greater Amman Municipality has been given the go-ahead to implement traffic projects in the heavily populated capital.

The latest national census, conducted late last year, put Amman’s population at around 4 million.

With some deputies raising the issue of repeated drowning accidents in the King Abdullah Canal in the Jordan Valley, the premier stressed the need for more work to avert such accidents and save lives.

Recently, the Jordan Valley Authority and the Jordanian Economic and Social Organisation for Retired Servicemen signed an agreement under which the latter will post guards along the canal, where several drowning cases are reported every summer, most of them children.


Some MPs also warned against Jordan’s participation in any military coalition that could lead to ground operations in Syria, referring to news reports suggesting that Jordanian troops are now training in Saudi Arabia in preparation for Saudi-led operations in war-torn Syria.

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