Artifacts stolen by US Army pilot return to Egypt


This National Geographic video is called Ancient Egyptian Treasures.

From Associated Press:

Artifacts stolen by US Army pilot return to Egypt

By TOM HAYS

NEW YORK — Dozens of ancient artifacts stolen by a former U.S. Army officer were returned Wednesday to the Egyptian government.

Officials said the items, such as small urns, came from the Ma’adi archaeological site outside Cairo and date to 3600 B.C. or earlier.

Army helicopter pilot Edward George Johnson, a chief warrant officer from Fayetteville, N.C., was arrested in February in Alabama on charges of transporting stolen property and wire fraud. He pleaded guilty in July to possessing and selling stolen antiquities and was sentenced to 19 months of probation.

“When (Johnson) 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.”

Johnson was deployed to Cairo in September 2002 when about 370 artifacts were stolen from the Ma’adi Museum. He sold about 80 pieces to an art dealer for $20,000.

The government said experts had determined a majority of the items he sold had been stolen from the museum. The pieces had been excavated from the Ma’adi site in the 1920s and 1930s.

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