The artifacts were collected by expats and visitors in Egypt and deposited in the bank in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were never recovered and sat untouched for years. The artifacts include Islamic coins and statues of Egyptian deities such as Hathor, pictured here.
Egypt has been fighting for the return of archaeological treasures taken by various countries in the past. Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has spearheaded the fight and got an unexpected victory when the bank announced it had artifacts and was handing them over.
The artifacts are now being studied and will hopefully appear in one of Egypt’s museums sometime soon.
[Image courtesy user Néfermaât via Wikimedia Commons. This is an image of a Hathor statue from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and not one of the recovered artifacts]