one of the most prestigious museums of the world, the Met in New York, will travel to Egypt in a sarcophagus that had been stolen, probably in 2011 in the full tumult of revolutionary in this country.
The imposing object doré made for Nedjemankh, priest of the ram-headed god Heryshef, was at the heart of an exhibition the Metropolitan Museum of Art which was to continue until April. It was suddenly interrupted, on the 12th of February, the sarcophagus, richly decorated, dating from the 1st century bc, J-C has in fact “been stolen in Egypt in 2011”, announced the museum Friday in a press release. The Met has, therefore, been handed over to the prosecutor’s office of Manhattan, which, in turn, must make it to the egyptian government.
to Review the audit process for acquisitions
the museum’s directors, quoted by the New York Times , have indicated that the sarcophagus had been acquired in 2017 for approximately four million dollars (3.5 million euros) from an art dealer in Paris. The institution has stated to have been informed of the truth about the provenance of the object “in recent months”.
following an investigation by the prosecutor’s office, it was discovered that the papers accompanying the sarcophagus, as an export authorisation, dating supposedly from 1971, were false.
“We apologise to Dr. Khaled el-Enany, the egyptian minister of Antiquities, and the people of Egypt, ( … ). We are committed now to see how justice can be made, and how we can help prevent future violations of cultural property”, said the president of the Met, Daniel Weiss, quoted in the press release.
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Result of the case, the museum has indicated that it would review its audit process of acquisitions. No other details were currently available about the origin of the sarcophagus. Egypt is full of archaeological treasures stoking the lust of the pillagers.
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Cairo’s egyptian museum, which holds parts of the ancient priceless, had been burglarized in January 2011, when violent clashes between security forces and protesters calling for the departure of former president Hosni Mubarak on Tahrir square nearby.