St. Louis Art Museum sues to keep mummy mask

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | 7:33 a.m. CST; updated 9:48 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Art Museum has filed a federal lawsuit in its effort to keep a 3,200-year-old mummy mask that Egypt wants back.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

The museum claims the U.S. government is trying to seize the Ka-Nefer-Nefer mask and return it to Egypt. But the museum says it has legal rights to the mask it purchased from a New York art dealer for $499,000 in 1998.

Egypt officials have claimed the mask was stolen in the early 1990s from a storage room near a pyramid.

The suit claims there is no proof the mask was stolen. It also claims that the statute of limitations has expired for any seizure.


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