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Egypt's camel bone sculptors gather to sustain ancient art

The historic Egyptian art of camel bone sculpture is threatened in modern Egypt, where the carvers are fast disappearing.
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CAIRO — Sculpting with camel bones is a handicraft that has been practiced in Upper Egypt for thousands of years, since the Pharaonic era, but the trade is fast disappearing.

Sahar Mubarak is one of the few remaining carvers in Qus, a city in Qena governorate. She told Al-Monitor that the most important reason for the disappearance of this ancient art was economic: The camel bones are getting more expensive after the international trade of ivory was banned, as camel bones have become a popular substitute. Like ivory, the bones are rigid and retain their whiteness for thousands of years.

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