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"Sheer persistence pays dividends": Head of Amenhotep III Returns to Egypt

The head of Amenhotep III, once handled by Jonathan Tokeley-Parry, has been returned to Egypt ("Priceless Egyptian Sculpture To Be Returned Home after 18 Year Absence" (press release, Mishcon de Reya, December 19, 2008).
Dr Zahi Hawass personally retained Karen Sanig, Head of Art Law at Mishcon de Reya to assert the ownership rights of the Arab Republic of Egypt and to effect repatriation of the Head. The case was extremely complicated as the Head was the subject of two criminal proceedings, in the UK and the US, it had passed through the hands of innocent parties unaware of its chequered history and travelled to various jurisdictions which gave rise to other alleged ownership rights. Despite all this, as a result careful negotiation, led by Karen Sanig, the Head has today gone home and avoided making its third court appearance in the High Court in London.

Karen Sanig added:
In this case the determination of Dr Zahi Hawass backed by the Egyptian Government enabled a successful resolution without recourse to litigation. Other countries affected by looting and trafficking of their cultural heritage property often have neither the resources of the Arab Republic of Egypt nor the dedication of its most important archaeologist, Dr Hawass. However the return of the Head does show that sheer persistence pays dividends in this area.

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