17:58 GMT16 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art - commonly known as the Met - has returned a prized item from its collection of Egyptian antiquities after learning that the piece was actually a stolen artefact, the State Department reported Wednesday on its Share America website.

    "The looted item, a gilded coffin that once held the remains of a high-ranking priest named Nedjemankh, is estimated to be about 2,100 years old", the report said. "It has now been returned to Egypt, following a recent repatriation ceremony in New York with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry and US authorities".

    New York prosecutors said a dealer gave unsuspecting Met officials a set of forged documents to make the sale appear legitimate, the report said.

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    Once presented with evidence of the theft, the Met cooperated with the district attorney's office and returned the coffin, valued at $4 million, which is now on public display in Egypt, according to the report.

    US and Egyptian officials signed an agreement in 2016 to cooperate in seizing and returning illegally exported cultural property, the report said. The US has similar agreements with 20 other countries.

    Tags:
    Metropolitan Museum of Art, coffin, coffins, Egypt, US
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