Saturday, March 13, 2010

More re return of Imesy sarcophagus to Egypt


Thanks to Tony Marson for the above link.

A 3,000-year-old stolen sarcophagus is returning home to Egypt after a trip around the world.

At a ceremony Wednesday at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., U.S. authorities returned the sarcophagus, which was confiscated by customs officials at Miami International Airport in 2008.

"We don't know anything about this coffin," Zahi Hawass, the secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, told NPR's Michele Norris. "It left Egypt illegally, but we don't have really any list of the stolen artifacts that left Egypt."

The coffin belonged to someone called Imesy who lived almost 3,000 years ago; it is believed to have been taken in 1970 from Egypt to Spain.

My Fox

With video news report

Herbert Kercado, an agricultural specialist for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Miami, came across a rather interesting shipment a couple of years ago.

It came in a wooden crate which he closely inspected for the presence of beetles and other insect pests which could threaten trees and crops in the U.S. The crate was apparently clean, but its listed contents seemed peculiar: a wooden sarcophagus.

Kercado, a history buff who watches documentaries on TV, did some quick research, he says, "...through the internet. And [I] found out that some items were stolen from Egypt in the past." The ag specialist notified his superior, and an investigation was launched.

Special agent Vince Menditto, with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) caught the case. He was suspicious right away because of the casual way the supposedly-ancient artifact was packed.

And a video at Scientific American.

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