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The Met buys artifact from collector to return it to Egypt

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has purchased part of an ancient Egyptian shrine from an antiquities collector for the sole purpose of returning it to Egypt.

SCA head Zahi Hawass hailed the Met’s move as a “great deed,” singling it out as the first time a museum has bought an item for the sole purpose of repatriating it.

The fragment belongs to the naos honoring the 12th Dynasty King Amenemhat I, who ruled 4,000 years ago, which is now in the Ptah temple of Karnak in Luxor.

It’s the latest coup for Hawass, Egypt’s assertive and media-savvy archaeologist, who has been on an international lobbying campaign to reclaim what he says are stolen Egyptian artifacts from the world’s most prestigious museums.

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