New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it was returning to Egypt a prized artifact after learning it was stolen from the country in 2011.
The Met said Friday that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office found evidence that the museum was given a false ownership history for the gilded Coffin of Nedjemankh, reported The Associated Press.
The Met bought the piece from a Paris art dealer in 2017 and displayed it until this week.
Nedjemankh was a high-ranking first century BC priest.
Investigators said the Met was given fraudulent documents, including a forged 1971 Egyptian export license.
Met president Daniel Weiss apologized to Egypt. He said the museum was a fraud victim and unwitting participant in the illegal trade of antiquities.
The Met revealed that it was cooperating with the DA’s investigation and revising its acquisitions process.
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