Ancient wall paintings return to Egypt from France

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2009 2:36 PM

An Egyptian airport official says the wall paintings that caused a feud between Egypt and the Louvre Museum have returned home.

Ahmed al-Rawi of the customs authority said that the ancient artwork arrived to Cairo on a flight from Paris on Tuesday evening and were handed over to Egyptian antiquities authorities.

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass cut ties with the Louvre in October, saying the museum had refused to return the fragments, which he said had been illegally chipped from a 3,200-year-old tomb's walls.

French officials quickly agreed to hand over the fragments following a recommendation by scientific experts.

During a visit to his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy this week, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak inspected the pieces before they were handed back.