The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City decided to return 19 Egyptian artifacts, most of which date back to the era of King Tutankhamon, after a series of bilateral talks between Egyptian and American officials.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities signed a memorandum of understanding on November 10, 2010.
“Deputy Antiquities Chairman Atef Abu Dahab will fly to Egypt from New York with 19 pieces of Tutankhamon’s tomb,” said Mohamed Abdul Maksoud, secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Antiquities.
The 19 artifacts were discovered by Howard Carter in Tutankhamon’s tomb in 1922 and have been part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection since the beginning of the 20th Century.
The height of each artifact ranges from one centimeter (cm) to 1.9 cm.
The Egyptology department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art helped the Supreme Council for Antiquities restore the artifacts – which originally were taken from Egypt illegally.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s staff provided expert help during the restoration of the artifacts, as they had in 2009 when a granite piece of the Karnack Temple was returned.
The 19 pieces will be displayed in The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities in the Tutankhamon collection.
The pieces can be divided into two categories. The first category includes 15 small pieces. The second category has four unique and magnificent pieces, including a statue of small bronze dog measuring 2 cm in length, a section of a sphinx-shaped bracelet and a necklace.
Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamon’s tomb when the Egyptian government was permitting explorers and archeologists to take some artifacts.
All of Carter’s found artifacts were presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1939.
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