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Mummy Mask to Stay in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - That three-thousand year old mummy mask at the St. Louis Art Museum isn’t going anywhere soon.

Thats the ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Henry Autry.    The judge rejected the argument that the “Mask of the Lady Ka-nefer-nefer” entered the country illegally and should be returned to Egypt .

The St. Louis Business Journal reports after a few trips to Egypt, the mask was declared missing in 1973 but court documents show that government has been unable to provide specific facts to show the mask was stolen in the first place.

The St. Louis Business Journal quotes Brent Benjamin, St. Louis Art Museum Director,  as saying the museum researched the mask’s origin before acquiring it.  He said the museum went as far as contacting the Art Loss Register and Interpol to see if the mask was listed on one of their databases of stolen art.

The museum bought the mask in 1998 from New York dealer Phoenix Ancient Art for $499,000.   The case can be appealed within 60 days.

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