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Egypt to recover stolen artifacts from the United States

Getting back artifacts and antiquities from abroad is a big priority for the Egyptian government.
Egypt artifacts

Egypt is set to repatriate some stolen artifacts from a major museum in New York City.

What happened: Over the weekend, the New York District Attorney's Office in New York announced the seizure of numerous artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Local media reported that 16 objects would be returned to Egypt, though only six of these are from the Met.

Egypt’s state-owned news outlet Al-Ahram then reported Wednesday that Egypt is set to receive the 16 artifacts after its tourism officials and diplomats finished an investigation with New York authorities. The outlet confirmed six outlets came from the Met and that another nine were found in the possession of an American businessman. 

Why it matters: The New York District Attorney’s Office has been working to recover stolen artifacts recently, including from Egypt. They also seized five Egyptian artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art back in June. 

Recovering stolen artifacts is a big priority for Egypt, which boasts a rich historical heritage going back to ancient times when the Pyramids of Giza were built. 

There have been several repatriations of Egyptian artifacts in recent years. Last year, Egypt got back ancient artifacts from France. Authorities also arrested some Egyptian politicians and businesspeople at the time for allegedly participating in the illegal smuggling of artifacts. Israel additionally returned nearly 100 artifacts to Egypt last December. 

Most recently, Egypt has demanded the return of a Sphinx sculpture from the Louvre museum in Paris. 

Know more: A particularly high number of artifacts were smuggled out of Egypt during the chaos surrounding the 2011 Arab Spring protests. For example, in 2019, the Met gave up a coffin after learning it had been illegally taken out of Egypt in 2011. 

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