The golden coffin that once held the mummy of Nedjemankh, a priest in the Ptolemaic Period some 2,000 years ago, is displayed at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, in Old Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
CAIRO – 2 June 2022: The Office of the Attorney General in New York confiscated five Egyptian artifacts, with a total value that exceeds $3 million, from the Metropolitan Museum, after an intense investigation into the international trade in Egyptian antiquities, which led to the indictment of former President and Director of the Louvre Museum in Paris, Jean-Luc Martinez.
The unlawful possession of the artifacts was first reported by ARTnews. Four of the pieces belong to the collection of Robin Dib, a German-Lebanese merchant suspected by US and French authorities of selling looted pieces to art institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Dib is currently being held in Paris, where he is awaiting trial on charges of mass fraud and money laundering, but he denied all charges.
Among the seized artifacts is a Fayum Mummy Portrait, which was painted on a wooden board usually placed on the face of royal mummies during the Roman era in Egypt. It depicts a woman in a blue dress and dates back to about 60 BC.