Egypt’s political woes and resulting chaos won’t change the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s plans to return 19 objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun to the nation permanently, for display in Giza.
Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s minister of antiquities, had alleged that the Met’s objects had been stolen from the excavation early in the 20th century. The items in dispute, all tiny, include a lapis lazuli sphinx, a bronze dog and a reconstructed blue bead collar.
The artifacts were on display in Times Square in the “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” exhibition, which closed Jan. 17. Now, the Metropolitan has said it will put them on view for six months and then honor the pledge to return them.
Since the unrest in Egypt, there have been several reports that the Egyptian Museum and other antiquities sites have been vandalized.