In a remarkable act, a French-Egyptian citizen handed over a golden mummy mask to the Ministry of Antiquities, the ministry announced in a Facebook post yesterday.
Shehab al-Farouk Omar returned the mask to state custody out of a sense of “belonging and loyalty” to Egypt, Al-Arabiya reported. A friend gifted him the Pharaonic artifact on his son’s birthday.
Shaaban Abdel Gawad, Supervisor General of the Antiquities Repatriation Department, called Omar’s action a “symbol of patriotism and good will.” Gawad called on anyone in possession of “any artifact” to follow Omar’s lead and return such items to the ministry to help “protect and preserve Egypt’s cultural and archaeological heritage.”
The mask is now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square and will be examined by experts to determine its authenticity, according to Sabah Abdel Razak, Director General of the Egyptian Museum. The mask has not yet been dated.
WE SAID THIS: Would you return such a precious artifact? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!