Egypt: Stolen Gold Coffin of Ancient Priest Goes Home

Lid of the coffin of the priest of Heryshef, Nedjemankh.
26 September 2019

Cape Town — The Egyptian relic is finally going home.

According to BBC, the coffin was stolen and smuggled out of Egypt in 2011 and sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York by a global art trafficking network, which used fraudulent documents.

The museum had purchased the coffin from a Paris art dealer in July 2017 for about U.S.$4 million.

Investigators say the coffin was smuggled from Egypt through United Arab Emirates, Germany and France. They say the museum was given fraudulent documents, including a forged 1971 Egyptian export license.

The museum has since apologized to Egypt.

The gold coffin is believed to have once held the mummy of Nedjemankh, a priest of the ram god Heryshaf of Herakleopolis.

The U.S.$4 million artifact is expected to be on display at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo in 2020.

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