A screen shot of The diplomatic passport of deceased Egyptian President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat. Photo courtesy of Heritage auction.
Texas-based multi-national auction house Heritage Auctions reportedly sold El-Sadat’s diplomatic passport in both Arabic and French for $47,500 on Wednesday.
MP Karim El-Sadat, grandson of the late president, said he filed the urgent statement to be directed to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, FM Shoukry, Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilani and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa.
"There is no doubt that late President Anwar El-Sadat had presented a lot to the homeland throughout his life and that it is not appropriate for his passport to be sold in a foreign auction house," local media quoted Karim El-Sadat as saying.
The MP rejected the selling of his grandfather's passport as "an insult that we, as a family and as representatives of the Egyptian people who love the late president, will not accept."
Karim El-Sadat stressed that Egypt should have benefited from such a historical document instead, in remarks to Salet El-Tahrir TV programme on Sada El-Balad on Saturday.
The MP denied that any of the members of the late president's family are responsible for selling the passport.
Heritage Auctions showed images of the passport, which had been valid from 1974 to 1981, the year when the late president was assassinated.
The passport does not contain visa stamps but was valid during several historic trips made by El-Sadat, including his visit to Israel in November 1977 to deliver a famous speech to the Knesset and his 1978 trip to the US where he signed the Camp David Accords.
Passport history expert and author Tom Topol said El-Sadat’s passport was owned by a famous Egyptian businessman who told him that he obtained it from a relative who worked at the late president’s office.
Topol, however, refused to mention the name of the businessman and said he does not know the name of the buyer as he spoke to heritage press website Bab Msr in an interview published on Friday.
The owner of the passport had failed to sell it for $50,000 in 2013, Topol said, noting that he checked the passport at the time to make sure it was authentic but did not check the official document proving it was obtained legally.
Topol said he was the one who took the images shown by Heritage Auctions on its website, and that he expected the passport would end up in a museum.
While many of El-Sadat’s belongings are displayed in Sadat Museum of Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in northern Egypt, the library’s director, Ahmed Zayed, denied that the passport was among these objects.
Zayed added to Salet El-Tahrir that Jehan El-Sadat, wife of the late president, handed some of the belongings of her husband to the library in 2008 and that they never included his personal or diplomatic passports.