Egyptian coffin face

A c.332-275BC gilded wood coffin face, believed to be from the Nag el-Hissaya necropolis, has been returned to Egypt.

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The DA’s office said they are collectively valued at $1.4m (£1.1m) and eight of the artefacts were recovered as part of an international investigation into a trafficking network with the Antiquities Trafficking Unit.

Among the group was a c.332-275BC gilded wood coffin face believed to be from the Nag el-Hissaya necropolis. According to the DA’s office it changed hands many times in the US since 2001 and was seized by the office from the New York’s Merrin Gallery in 2023.

Another key item is a c.3100-2670BC alabaster royal vase believed to have been excavated by British Egyptologist Cecil M Firth in Saqqara between 1924-35 but subsequently stolen. It passed through the hands of dealers and collectors and was also seized from the Merrin Gallery.

Alabaster royal vase

A c.3100-2670BC alabaster royal vase, believed to have been excavated by British Egyptologist Cecil M Firth in Saqqara between 1924-35 but subsequently stolen, has been returned to Egypt.

The group was returned during a repatriation ceremony with Ambassador Howaida Essam, the Consul General of Egypt in New York.

During DA Bragg’s tenure the Antiquities Trafficking Unit has recovered more than 2000 antiquities stolen from more than 25 countries and valued at more than $250m. Since its creation, the ATU has recovered more 5750 antiquities valued at over $450m and has returned more than 4500 so far, with another half-dozen repatriations scheduled in the coming months.