The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that it has delivered the gilded coffin of Nedjemankh, and will return it to Egypt after receiving information that it was stolen in 2011. The museum has been fully cooperative with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The coffin is inscribed with the name Nedjemankh, a priest of the ram-god Heryshef. During the investigations, the museum found that it received false ownership documents, fraudulent statements, and fake documentation, including a forged 1971 Egyptian export license for the coffin.
“After we learned that the Museum was a victim of fraud and unwittingly participated in the illegal trade of antiquities, we worked with the DA’s office for its return to Egypt. The nation of Egypt has been a strong partner of the Museum’s for over a century. We extend our apologies to Dr. Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Antiquities, and the people of Egypt, and our appreciation to District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr.’s office for its investigation, and now commit ourselves to identifying how justice can be served, and how we can help to deter future offenses against cultural property,” the Met’s President and CEO, Daniel Weiss, commented.
Earlier this week, the Egyptian government retrieved another of our lost treasures overseas, the Dutch authorities handed over a stolen Pharaonic limestone statue that was about to be auctioned off at an auction house in Amsterdam.