New York returns 10 stolen artifacts valued at $1.4 million to Egypt

New York returns 10 stolen artifacts valued at $1.4 million to Egypt
Photo: Gilded Wood Coffin Face seized and returned to Egypt / Source: District Attorney of New York 

Manhattan’s District Attorney recently handed over 10 stolen ancient Egyptian artifacts valued at around $1.4 million dollars to the Egyptian consulate in New York.

“Egypt has an incredibly rich cultural history that we will not allow to be diminished by selfish looters and traffickers,” said DA, Alvin Bragg Jr., in a press release. 

Eight of the stolen objects were recovered as part of an investigation into the “Dib-Simonian” trafficking organization. The syndicate, based in Germany, is accused of looting Egyptian artifacts, forging their provenance and selling them at auction to museums and buyers for millions of dollars. 

According to the DA’s office, nine people in France have been indicted or apprehended in the scheme. They include the ex-director of the Louvre Museum and the syndicate’s ring leader Serop Simonian, who was imprisoned last year after being extradited from Germany.

The artifacts include a gilded wood coffin face dating from around 332-275 B.C. that was stolen from the Nag el-Hissaya necropolis. 

The D.A.s offices says since 2022, it has returned 27 pieces to Egypt, collectively valued at more than $6.5 million.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to MAGHREB INSIDER.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.