Ancient gilded coffin is returned to Egypt government

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NEW YORK (AP) — A gilded coffin that was featured at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is on its way back to Egypt after it was determined to be a looted antiquity.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry held a repatriation ceremony in New York on Wednesday for the Coffin of Nedjemankh (neh’-jeh-MAHNK’).

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

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.

Prosecutors say they’ve found evidence of hundreds more antiquities thefts.

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