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American museum returns stolen ancient Egyptian coffin

Authorities in the United States of America on Wednesday returned a stolen ancient coffin to Egypt.

This is happening two years after the coffin was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The 2,100-year-old coffin of a priest called Nedjemankh got featured in an exhibit housing artefacts from Egypt.

The Museum bought the stolen antique from a global art trafficking network, which used fraudulent documents.

Officials said the gold coffin was looted and smuggled out of Egypt in 2011.

The stolen coffin dates back to the 1st Century BC. It was bought for $4m from a Parisian art dealer.

According to officials the museum that bought it was given a forged 1971 Egyptian export licence, among other false documents.

Officials said the grand and ornate coffin had been buried in the country’s Minya region for 2,000 years before it was stolen in 2011.

Reuters quotes Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Hassan Shoukry as saying “This is not only for Egyptians but this is for our common human heritage.”

Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance also said “Thus far our investigation has determined that this coffin is just one of hundreds of antiquities stolen by the same multinational trafficking ring.”

Vance further said at a repatriation ceremony in New York on Wednesday that there could be more similar seizures.


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