The toe of King Akhenaton, which was stolen in 1907 during an examination of the pharaoh’s bones, was returned during a signing ceremony for an agreement with Switzerland over the return of ancient artefacts, the council said.
“The toe is now back in Egypt and will be displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo,” said the statement, which confirmed that it was from the skeleton of the pharaoh, which had been found in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
The toe’s movements since 1907 were not disclosed.
Frank Ruehli, a scientist at the University of Zurich and a specialist in mummies, obtained it “thanks to his personal contacts” in “another European country,” a diplomat told AFP without elaborating.
The return was thanks to the Ruehli’s “private initiative” and not carried out by the Swiss government, which is the 16th country to sign the accord on stolen antiquities, the diplomat added.
Antiquities council chief Zaki Hawass said Switzerland’s signature was particularly important as it had been a major transit point in the trade in smuggled artefacts in the past.