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Stolen antiquities returned from NY to Egypt

The latest returns to Egypt, this time from our own government:

12/3/2008, 2:09 p.m. EST


The Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) — Dozens of ancient artifacts stolen by a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot were returned to the Egyptian government on Wednesday during a ceremony in Manhattan.

Officials said the items, including several small urns on display at the ceremony, came from the Ma'adi archaeological site outside Cairo and date to 3,600 B.C. or earlier.

"When (the military officer) stole these items from Egypt, he robbed a nation of part of its history," said Peter J. Smith, head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's New York office. "The repatriation of the Ma'adi artifacts reunites the people of Egypt with an important piece of their cultural heritage."