Now Reading
A stolen ancient gold coffin displayed at the Met goes back home to Egypt years later

A stolen ancient gold coffin displayed at the Met goes back home to Egypt years later

Avatar
A stolen ancient gold coffin displayed at the Met goes back home to Egypt years later

An ancient gold coffin displayed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is going home to Egypt — where it was stolen nearly a decade ago.

The coffin is worth $4 million and once held the remains of influential priest Nedjemankh, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.

It was smuggled from Egypt’s Minya region during the revolution in October 2011 and transported through the United Arab Emirates to Germany, then France and was later sold to the Met Museum on July 2017. There, it was put on display along with 70 other items from the Egyptian collection.

In February this year, the district attorney’s office executed a search warrant and seized it from the Met Museum’s art display. The museum cooperated with investigators after it was presented with evidence of the theft.

“Coming as we do from all over the world, New Yorkers place a strong value on cultural heritage, and our office takes pride in our work to vigorously protect it,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said.

“Returning stolen cultural treasures to their countries of origin is at the core of our mission to stop the trafficking of stolen antiquities. I am honoured to repatriate this extraordinary artifact back to the people of Egypt.”

The Egyptian minister of foreign affairs signed an official repatriation protocol at the repatriation ceremony. The coffin will now go on public display in Egypt.

See Also
A stolen ancient gold coffin displayed at the Met goes back home to Egypt years later
The Nile -- seen here at Aswan in Egypt -- flows for more than 4,100 miles, through 11 countries, and out into the Mediterranean Sea.

Nedjemankh had been a priest of the ram-headed god Heryshef, according to the Met Museum’s website. The surface of the coffin was elaborately decorated with scenes and hieroglyphic texts meant to guide the priest on his journey to eternal life.

Egypt has been working to retrieve its stolen artifacts from around the world for years. In January, it recovered a section of tablet engraved with an ancient king’s royal symbol from a London auction house where it was listed for sale. The tablet had been stolen from an Egyptian museum in 1988 and smuggled out of the country.

Sometimes its efforts to retrieve artifacts have not been as successful. A statue resembling the pharaoh Tutankhamun was sold for $5.97 million at a London auction in July even though Egyptian authorities said it was stolen and demanded its repatriation.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top