November 6, 2009

Metropolitan Museum to return Pharonic relief to Egypt

Posted at 11:41 pm in Similar cases

In an unusual turn of events, New York’s Metropolitan Museum purchased a four thousand year old relief from a collector with the sole intention of returning it to Egypt. It is unclear from this article whether there was any other motive present that led to this peculiar transaction.

Press TV (Iran)

MET agrees to return Pharoanic relic to Egypt
Wed, 28 Oct 2009 17:16:12 GMT

Egyptian authorities say New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to return an ancient Pharoanic relic to its homeland.

According to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the red granite shrine piece was purchased from a New York antiquities collector last October to be returned.

The piece belongs to the naos honoring the 12th Dynasty King Amenemhat I, who ruled 4,000 years ago, which is now in the Ptah temple of Karnak in Luxor, Artdaily reported.

Head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, referred to the act as a “great deed,” saying that it was the first time a museum bought an item only to return it.

“It is also a kind gesture from the newly appointed Met director Thomas Campbell,” he said

Hawass started to recover Egyptian antiquities since he took the helm of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities in 2002.

The bust of Queen Nefertiti in Berlin’s Neues Museum and the Rosetta stone at London’s British Museum have been among his top priorities to reacquire.

Egypt suspended its cooperation with the Louvre in early October, after the museum refused to return what the country believed to be stolen artifacts.

The country restored the Louvre’s excavations in Egypt only after the French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand agreed to return the fragments.

Hawass also cut ties with the St. Louis Art Museum over a 3,200-year-old golden burial mask that the museum refused to return.


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