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The Met to return objects from Tomb of Tutankhamun

It has been announced today that New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will be returning objects that had been found in the tomb of Tutankhamun ("Metropolitan Museum and Egyptian Government Announce Initiative to Recognize Egypt's Title to 19 Objects Originally from Tutankhamun's Tomb", press release, November 10, 2010). Tom Campbell, the Director of the Museum is quoted:
Research conducted by the Museum's Department of Egyptian Art has produced detailed evidence leading us to conclude without doubt that 19 objects, which entered the Met's collection over the period of the 1920s to 1940s, originated in Tutankhamun's tomb. Because of precise legislation relating to that excavation, these objects were never meant to have left Egypt, and therefore should rightfully belong to the Government of Egypt. I am therefore pleased to announce—in concert with our long-time colleague Zahi Hawass, who has contributed so greatly over many years to the recognition and preservation of the historic treasures of Egypt—this formal acknowledgment that title to the objects belongs to Egypt.
The press statement also quotes Zahi Hawass:
This is a wonderful gesture on the part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ... For many years the museum, and especially the Egyptian art department, has been a strong partner in our ongoing efforts to repatriate illegally exported antiquities. Through their research, they have provided us with information that has helped us to recover a number of important objects, and last year, they even purchased and then gave to Egypt a granite fragment that joins with a shrine on display in Luxor, so that this object could be restored. Thanks to the generosity and ethical behavior of the Met, these 19 objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun can now be reunited with the other treasures of the boy king.

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