The famous “Green Sarcophagus” lid is being returned to its home country.
The many sarcophagi of ancient Egypt are each national treasures in their own right, prized for their intricate construction and artwork. Unfortunately, it is for this precise reason that either the sarcophagi or parts of them are regularly looted from Egyptian tombs and transported elsewhere in the world.
One such artifact is the lid of the famous “Green Sarcophagus,” named as such for the distinctive shade of green painted on the lid’s face. According to Ahmed Issa, Egypt’s minister of tourism and antiquities, this lid was stolen from Egyptian possession several years ago and smuggled into the United States.
“The sarcophagus is very thick, which pushed looters to steal the sarcophagus’s lid without the base,” Mostafa Waziri of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a press conference.
This week, however, after a lengthy investigation and pursuit in cooperation with western authorities, Egyptian investigators have finally recovered the Green Sarcophagus lid, and will be returning it to its rightful place in its home country.
Egypt's minister of tourism and antiquities said the huge sarcophagus lid "was looted and smuggled from Egypt to the United States a few years ago." https://t.co/U1H5nD3DcK
— CNN (@CNN) January 2, 2023
“Our sincere thanks to USA authorities for their cooperation in returning this precious piece,” the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted on Monday.
According to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, antiquity investigators have successfully recovered around 29,300 artifacts from smugglers operating all over the world over the last 10 years, with the Green Sarcophagus lid being their latest reclamation.