An important part of culture and heritage has been returned to Egypt after an Egyptian coffin stolen in 2011 was returned to its rightful owners.
The Egyptian coffin which was believed to have housed a priest called Nedjemankh was returned on Wednesday after it was seized from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and returned to Egypt.
The Met purchased the artifact in 2017 for $4m (£3.2m) from a Parisian art dealer.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. described the journey of the Egyptian coffin, telling reporters; “The coffin was illegally transported to a warehouse in Dubai,”
He continued, “And subsequently shipped to Germany for restoration and then went to France for sale.”
The office of the District Attorney worked closely with Homeland Security investigators and Egyptian officials to track the artifact and finally find it.
“This coffin is just one of hundreds of antiquities stolen by the same multi-national trafficking ring, so you may well see a few more significant seizures of prominent antiquities in months and years to come,” Vance Jnr said.
To their credit, the Met were completely cooperative in the investigation and were also a big help in getting it back to its rightful place.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Hassan Shoukry was pleased with the return of the Egyptian coffin and claimed that it wasn’t only a protection of Egyptian heritage but also that of Mankind.
As for how easy it is to sell these sorts of items on the market, Peter Fitzhugh, the assistant special agent in charge of the investigation blamed the ease of doing business online as one of the major reasons, “The relative ease of doing business through online markets at any time and any place has helped this type of theft to become a global phenomenon,” he said.
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