Did the US Authorities handle the case of the mummy mask in the St Louis Art Museum in the most appropriate way? I am sure that readers of LM will have views on this.
but there is a more important issue. do we believe the collecting history, the so-called provenance, of the mask supplied by the vendor and presented by the museum? The answer has to be no. The documentation from Cairo seems to be clear that the mask was in Egypt at the time that it is claimed that it was also passing through the hands of dealers and private collectors in Europe.
And if the collecting history is flawed, how comfortable is the museum with the acquisition? Are the officers willing to say that they have full confidence in the collecting history? Or do they have reservations? and if they have reservations, will they consider taking the appropriate professional and ethical action by opening up positive negotiations with the Egyptian authorities?
does the SLAM mask remind us that some museum curators in North America are still operating with the acquisition standards of the pre-Medici period?