Saturday, February 27, 2010

More re return of Imesby

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

With two photos.

You don't know what you've got till it's gone. Nevine El-Aref reports on the return of a previously unknown coffin that was only found thanks to the diligence of US customs officers

Following almost 18 months of investigations and legal battles involving fraudulent possession and shipment, a 21st- Dynasty coffin of a private individual named Imesy is to come back to Egypt early in March.

Culture Minister Farouk Hosni describes the coffin, which is plastered and painted with colourful religious scenes, as one of the most beautiful coffins of its type.

Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), says talks on the return of the coffin began in October 2008 when US customs officials at Miami International Airport detained a shipment from Spain containing the coffin, which was found to have no papers or provenance.

The lack of documentation raised the concern of the American authorities, who suspected that the coffin might have left Egypt illegally.

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