An historical picket sarcophagus that was featured on the Houston Museum of Pure Sciences was returned to Egypt after U.S. authorities decided it was looted years in the past, Egyptian officers mentioned Monday.
The repatriation is a part of Egyptian authorities efforts to cease the trafficking of its stolen antiquities. In 2021, authorities in Cairo succeeded in getting 5,300 stolen artifacts returned to Egypt from across the world.
Mostafa Waziri, the highest official on the Supreme Council of Antiquities, mentioned the sarcophagus dates again to the Late Dynastic Interval of historical Egypt, an period that spanned the final of the Pharaonic rulers from 664 B.C. till Alexander the Nice’s marketing campaign in 332 B.C.
The sarcophagus, virtually 3 meters (9.5 ft) tall with a brightly painted prime floor, might have belonged to an historical priest named Ankhenmaat, although a few of the inscription on it has been erased, Waziri mentioned.
It was symbolically handed over at a ceremony Monday in Cairo by Daniel Rubinstein, the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Egypt.
The handover got here greater than three months after the Manhattan District Legal professional’s Workplace decided the sarcophagus was looted from Abu Sir Necropolis, north of Cairo. It was smuggled by means of Germany into the USA in 2008, in keeping with Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin L. Bragg.
“This gorgeous coffin was trafficked by a well-organized community that has looted numerous antiquities from the area,” Bragg mentioned on the time. “We’re happy that this object shall be returned to Egypt, the place it rightfully belongs.”
Bragg mentioned the identical community had smuggled a gilded coffin out of Egypt that was featured at New York’s Metropolitan Museum. Met purchased the piece from a Paris artwork vendor in 2017 for about $4 million. It was returned to Egypt in 2019.
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