Ancient Mummy Mask to Stay at St. Louis Art Museum

Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) – An ancient mummy mask of a beautiful woman will stay in the St. Louis Art Museum after the U.S. Department of Justice dropped its lawsuit to send the mask sent back to Egypt.

Even a bored kid on school field trip could see Ka-Nefer-Nefer, whose name meant “twice-beautiful,” was good-looking for a woman who’d been dead 3,200 years.

Her funeral mask, with its calm, brown eyes, petite nose and pursed lips, had vanished from a storage room in Egypt in the mid-to-late 1960s.

In 1998, the St. Louis Art Museum bought it, and by 2006, Egypt was claiming it was stolen.

Now the Department of Justice, which was trying to get the mask back for Egypt, is giving up, saying there’s no proof it was stolen.

Ka-Nefer-Nefer gazes forward at the living, with no comment.

The art museum says it plans to speak with the U.S. Attorney about recovering its legal fees from the long court fight.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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