The Met Will Return A Newly Acquired Antiquity to Egypt Due to Dubious Provenance

  • The golden-sheathed coffin from the 1st century B.C.

    The golden-sheathed coffin from the 1st century B.C.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will return a golden-sheathed coffin from the 1st century B.C. to Egypt after investigators revealed the piece was allegedly looted in 2011.

Newly acquired for nearly $4 million by the Met, the heavily ornamented artifact was inscribed for Nedjemankh, a high-ranking priest of the ram-headed god Heryshef of Herakleopolis. An exhibition featuring the prized object closed early.

The New York Times reported that "museum officials said that they bought the object from an art dealer in Paris in 2017 and were fooled by a phony provenance...."

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement: “Stewards of the world’s most important artifacts have a duty to hold their acquisitions to the highest level of scrutiny.”

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