Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — The sale of the diplomatic passport of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, at a public auction, raises anger and confusion. His family demanded that the authorities investigate the sale of this document by an American auction house, on the pretext that it is part of the nation’s heritage.
The “Heritage Auctions” company in Dallas, Texas, sold Sadat’s diplomatic passport on February 22 for $47,500, according to what was published on its official website.
The Egyptian newspaper “Al-Ahram Gate” quoted Karim Sadat, the late president’s grandson and a member of Parliament, as saying that selling his grandfather’s passport “is an insult that we, as a family, and as representatives of the Egyptian people who love the late president, will not accept.”
The Egyptian parliamentarian told a talk show host on an Egyptian television station on Saturday that he expected the Foreign Ministry to conduct an investigation into the incident.
Many wondered how the passport made its way to an auction house.
Representative Sadat said that, as far as he knew, the wife of the late president handed over all her husband’s belongings to the Library of Alexandria, in northern Egypt, after his death. On Saturday, however, Ahmed Zayed, the director of the library, told the host of the same program that the passport was not among Sadat’s possessions.
Details of the new owner of the passport were not disclosed on the auction page.
According to the “Heritage” auction house, the travel document, issued on March 19, 1974, consists of 48 pages and is not signed. It was valid until March 18, 1981, and was marked with a single, stamped 1974 visa.
CNN did not receive a response from the auction house “Heritage” for comment on this matter.
Anwar Sadat, a former officer in the Egyptian army, served as President of the Egyptian Republic from 1970 until his assassination in October 1981.
Sadat is, for many Egyptians, a symbol of their country’s struggle for independence. He led Egypt during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, but later made peace with Israel by signing the US-brokered Camp David Accords in 1978.
Sadat’s foreign diplomatic efforts were recognized when he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978.
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