A roughly 2,700-year-old sarcophagus lid that Egypt claimed was stolen and shown at an American museum has been found, the country said on Monday.
At a televised press conference on Monday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry declared the discovery of the “Green Sarcophagus” item.
He claimed that it had been secretly removed from the nation and that attempts are being made to “guard Egypt’s legacy” through its recovery.
According to Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ahmed Issa, the lid, which is approximately three metres long and 90 centimetres wide, was one of 17 relics recently returned from the United States.
According to state media, the sarcophagus lid was taken from the Abusir necropolis south of Cairo and transported to the US in 2008. It then made its way to the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 2013.
He continued, “The total casket weighs almost half a ton, making it one of the largest wooden sarcophagus from Ancient Egypt. Only the lid had been removed.”
The sarcophagus most certainly belonged to a nobleman, according to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities secretary-general Mostafa Waziri.
According to him, it was known as the Green Sarcophagus because of the hue of the face engraved on it and dates to the Late Period of Ancient Egypt.
In addition to the latest recovered artefacts, Egypt has unveiled more than 300 sarcophagi and 150 bronze statuettes over the past two years, some of them dating back more than 3,000 years.
Over the past decade, Egypt has recovered about 29,000 antiquities found to have been taken abroad through illegitimate means.
They were among major discoveries made that the authorities hope will help revive the country’s vital tourism sector, hit hard after the Covid pandemic and previous unrest.
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