Met Museum Repatriates the Naos Egyptian Artifact

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Egyptian antiquities, Naos

CAIRO -- Egypt's Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, is continuing his scavenger hunt through the world's most prestigious museums. Since taking office in 2002, Hawass has been on an archaeological quest for so-called stolen Egyptian antiquities. Earlier this month, there was a dispute between Hawass and the Louvre Museum in Paris, ending only after the museum agreed to return 5 fresco fragments. On Monday, New York's Metropolitan Museum confirmed it will be the next institution to send an artifact back to Egypt.

The Met acquired its Egyptian relic from a private collector about a year ago, making this the first time a museum has purchased an item solely to repatriate it. The object is a red granite fragment belonging to the ancient "Naos," a pharoanic shrine honoring the 12th Dynasty King Amenemhat I, who ruled 4,000 years ago.

Hawass claims to have recovered 5,000 Egyptian artifacts thus far, however not all of his campaigns have been successful. Berlin's Neues Museum is refusing to hand over its bust of Queen Nefertiti, and the Rosetta Stone is still housed in London's British Museum.



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