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USA to return smuggled sarcophagi to Egypt

Zahi Hawass has praised the US for being the first country in the world that co-operated with Egypt in securing the return of looted artefacts.

I’m a little unclear about which artefacts this news article is referring to – e.g. whether it is a case that has been covered elsewhere, as it gives very little in the way of detail & there was nothing mentioned on Zahi Hawass’s own website at the time this article was released by Associated Press.

From:
Art Daily [1]

Egypt’s Chief Archaeologist Says United States to Return Smuggled Sarcophagi
14 October 2010

CAIRO (AP).- Egypt’s chief archaeologist says the United States will return a number of sarcophagi smuggled out of the country 50 years ago.

Zahi Hawass says U.S. authorities seized the sarcophagi on American soil and will return them to Egypt in the next two weeks. He didn’t provide any further details about the antiquities or say what sites they were taken from.

Thousands of antiquities were spirited out of Egypt during the colonial period and afterward by archaeologists, adventurers and thieves.

Hawass has made recovering the artifacts the centerpiece of his tenure as antiquities chief.

Hawass’ Wednesday statement lauded U.S. efforts, saying America is the “first country in the world that cooperated with Egypt on the return of antiquities.”