The appointment of Brent R. Benjamin to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) is likely to bring North America into direct conflict with Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA). In May 2006 Zahi Hawass announced:
... in respon[se] to St. Louis Art Museum's director Brent Benjamin refusal to return back the mask, the SCA will take all legal procedures to recover the mask considered as one of Egypt's stolen heritage to its homeland. In collaboration with Egypt's Attorney general the SCA will file a law suit against the SLAM at St. Louis Court as well as providing the Interpol with all the evidence that proof Egypt's possession of the mask in order to help Egypt return it back. Hawass pointed out that the SCA will prohibit any further scientific cooperation with the SLAM as long as it keeps the stolen mask among its collection.Had President Bush been appraised of the sensitivities of this case?