Feds end effort to reclaim mummy mask for Egypt

AP News
Posted: Jul 29, 2014 12:37 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 3,200-year-old mummy mask at the center of a years-long custody battle will stay at the St. Louis Art Museum now that the U.S. government is giving up its effort to reclaim it for Egypt.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said Tuesday that the Department of Justice will take no further legal action to reclaim the funeral mask of Lady Ka-Nefer-Nefer, a noblewoman who died in 1186 B.C.

The mask, excavated from a Saqqara pyramid in 1952, went missing from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo more than 40 years ago. The St. Louis Art Museum said it researched the mask's provenance and bought it from a legitimate New York art dealer in 1998.

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A federal judge ruled the U.S. government provided no evidence of theft in 2012. An appellate court agreed.