After a full year of negotiations, the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) has finally succeeded in bringing an ancient sarcophagus back home to Egypt from the US. The colorful artifact had belonged to a man named Imesy, who lived during Egypt’s 21st dynasty (1081-931 BC).
SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass is scheduled to travel to Miami, Florida on 10 March to retrieve the sarcophagus, which is currently being held by US customs authorities.
"It’s a masterpiece," Hawass said. "It’s elaborately carved with religious inscriptions meant to help the deceased in the afterlife."
In October 2008, US customs authorities informed Hawass that they had seized an antique sarcophagus shipped from Spain by a Spanish antiques dealer who lacked documentation proving his legal possession of it, which strongly suggested that the piece had been smuggled out of Egypt.
Hawass immediately provided US authorities with documents proving that the sarcophagus was the property of the Egyptian government and requested its return.
After first refusing to give up the artifact, the Spanish dealer subsequently agreed to the request after Hawass filed a lawsuit against him in a US court.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.