Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Egypt Displays Looted Coffin Returned from New York

Egypt Displays Looted Coffin Returned from New York

Tuesday, 1 October, 2019 - 10:15
The Gold Coffin of Nedjemankh is displayed during a news conference to announce its return to the people of Egypt in New York City, US, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Egypt is displaying a gilded coffin of a high-ranking ancient Egyptian priest returned to the country last week from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art after US investigators determined to be a looted antiquity.

The coffin once held the mummy of Nedjemankh, a priest in the Ptolemaic Period some 2,000 years ago.

It was put on display on Tuesday at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo in a ceremony attended by US Charge d'Affaires Thomas Goldberger.

Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Ananni said the repatriation of this "unique, wonderful" artifact shows a "very strong solidarity" between Egypt and the US.

The highly ornamented coffin had been buried in Egypt before it was stolen from the country’s Minya region after the political upheaval of October 2011, authorities said.

The Met bought it from a Paris art dealer in 2017 for about $4 million and made it the centerpiece of an exhibition. It was removed in February. The Met has apologized to Egypt.

Editor Picks