Sadat curious passport case
April 4, 2023
How did Egypt recover Sadat’s passport? An expert reveals the details. By Amany Ibrahim
April 2, 2023
💥President Sadat’s diplomatic passport is back in Egypt.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is delighted to announce that on April 2, 2023, it was granted possession of a diplomatic passport that had previously been missing from the late president’s collection, thanks to the swift and remarkable efforts of the Egyptian state apparatus in recovering it from overseas. The confidence that the Egyptian state has shown in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and its mission to safeguard the nation’s cultural heritage has resulted in the recovered passport being added to the late president’s collection at the library, where it will be appropriately displayed in a museum exhibit befitting a leader of Egypt.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Egyptian leadership and its institutions for entrusting it with this valuable artifact. It acknowledges the outstanding and efficient role of the Egyptian state and its efforts at every level, which have enabled the passport of one of Egypt’s illustrious presidents to be recovered in record time. May Egypt, its president, and its people be blessed and safeguarded by the Almighty. The passport of President Sadat was sold earlier at an US auction house, which has sparked a wide controversy in Egypt.
The library did not announce the details of how they recovered the passport from the person who bought it in America for more than $47,000.
I did not imagine that the document will be recovered so fast or at all, but maybe it was also a strategy of the seller to push attention to document. Maybe the Egyptian government paid $71.000 to recover it, as there was an option at the auction house after it was auctioned!
Update: There is still to much emotions and facts are forgotten. The current reporting that the owner of Sadat’s passport will sell it again is not entirely correct. Heritage Auctions offers an OPTION (as their standard procedure) to make the current owner an offer. It’s up to the owner, not the auction house, if such a offer is accepted and makes a resale possible. Furthermore, it seems there is a misunderstanding on passports as government property. As I clearly said, different countries – different rules!
Update: The case reached Egyptian parliament. Representative Karim Talaat Al-Sadat, a member of the House of Representatives, and the grandson of the late President Anwar Sadat, submitted an urgent statement.
Update:“President Sadat’s passport auction making headlines in Arab news. Check out my exclusive interview on vintage passports for the Arabic world. (Note: English Google translation may not be accurate.) bit.ly/3IPajmb. Here another example from the website Bab Masr, which publishes sophisticated cultural heritage articles reports.
Sadat curious passport case Introduction
The recent news of the sale of President Sadat’s diplomatic passport at an American auction house has stirred up a great deal of emotion in Egypt and throughout the Arab world. The case is undoubtedly a sensitive one for the people of Egypt and for Sadat’s family, and it is understandable that it has caused a great deal of controversy and discussion.
While it is important to acknowledge the emotional significance of this event, it is also crucial to focus on the facts of the matter. The sale of a historical document such as this raises many questions, both legal and ethical. It is important to understand the context in which the passport was sold, and to consider the implications of such a sale for Egypt and for the broader global community.
Some readers may wonder about my involvement in this case, as I have mentioned that I was offered President Sadat’s diplomatic passport back in 2013/14. I was provided with photographs and was in communication with two individuals who were interested in selling the travel document.
It is important to note that I have no personal or financial stake in the case of the passport, and my role in this matter is purely informational.
Facts Sadat curious passport case
Allow me to present the facts surrounding my involvement in the case of President Sadat’s diplomatic passport:
In 2013/14, I was contacted by a woman from the UK who identified herself as an individual interested in selling the passport. As a passport history expert (with 20+ years of knowledge and experience), I was asked to evaluate the document.
I was sent pictures of the passport and informed that the asking price was $50,000. While I thought this was a high sum, I never had the document in my possession and had no intention of purchasing it.
Instead, I suggested writing an article on my website (which is about the history of passports and vintage passport collectibles) about the document, mentioning that it was for sale and inviting interested parties to contact me. While there were some inquiries out of curiosity, no serious buyers came forward. Sadat curious passport case
Eventually, I deleted the article from my website. However, last year, in 2022, an Egyptian businessman contacted me and mentioned the woman who had contacted me earlier. He claimed to be in possession of the document and asked me to write another article with a sales offer, which I did.
After 2-3 weeks, the businessman contacted me again and informed me that he would be giving the passport to an auction house. This occurred in September 2022, and I deleted the article once more as he wished.
I subsequently deleted all communication with the businessman, as the matter was no longer of concern to me. In the event that anyone requests contact information, it should be noted that I have none to provide.
Legal Aspect Sadat curious passport case
Although I am not a lawyer, I make it a point to stay informed about the current laws surrounding vintage passport collecting. It is important to note that different countries may have varying rules and regulations on this matter.
However, in general, collecting vintage passports for purposes of collection, historical research, or other academic pursuits is widely tolerated and legal as long as the documents are outdated and canceled. These documents can offer valuable insights into the history of individuals, nations, and the world at large, and their preservation and study is often considered a worthwhile pursuit.
Nonetheless, it is important to remain mindful of any applicable laws and regulations, particularly when it comes to the sale and transfer of such items. Careful consideration and research should always be undertaken before engaging in any such transactions, and all applicable laws and regulations should be followed to the letter.
I cannot provide legal advice, but I can certainly provide information and resources to help individuals make informed decisions when it comes to vintage passport collecting and related matters. I was in contact with several government agencies and one exemplary statement you can read here including further explanations on vintage passport collecting as a hobby.
I am closely following the developments surrounding the case of President Sadat’s diplomatic passport with great interest. This document holds immense historical and cultural significance, and its sale at such a high price at an auction house is unprecedented.
However, in the midst of all the emotions surrounding this case, it is important to remember the facts and the laws that may apply. Some reports suggest that there may be a special law in place to protect such items from leaving the country.
According to Dr. Hussein Abdel Baseer, the Director of the Antiquities Museum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, such an antique piece must meet three conditions to be considered as such. These include being over 100 years old, being a product of Egyptian land, and having a certain level of value. Sadat curious passport case
It is important to clarify that the rule/law protecting antique items in Egypt does not apply to President Sadat’s diplomatic passport.
Furthermore, the passport was not part of the items handed over to the Alexandria museum in 1981, and it was not included in their inventory in 2013.
There seems to be a misconception that the passport automatically belongs to President Sadat’s family, but in reality, a passport belongs to the issuing government as long as it is valid. If the bearer cancels the passport and it is stamped as “void,” they may do with it as they wish, including selling it.
However, it is important to remember that laws and regulations regarding vintage passports and other items of historical significance vary from country to country. What may be legal or acceptable in one country may not be in another. It is crucial to understand and follow the applicable laws and regulations to ensure the proper handling and preservation of such items.
Examples Of Celebrity Passports Auction Results
It is worth noting that auctions of vintage passports are not uncommon in the art and collecting world. In fact, several notable passports have been auctioned off for significant amounts of money.
For instance, the most expensive vintage passport ever sold at an auction was the US passport of baseball legend Lou Gehrig, which fetched a whopping $263,000. Other notable passports that have been sold at auction include those belonging to Russian singer Victor Tsoi, which sold for $120,000, Marilyn Monroe, which sold for $115,000, and Albert Einstein, which sold for $93,000.
While the sale of vintage passports can be controversial, it is important to note that these items hold historical and cultural significance, and they can provide valuable insights into the lives of the people who carried them. As with any collectible, it is crucial to approach the sale and purchase of vintage passports with sensitivity and respect. Sadat curious passport case
FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...