In a series of intriguing events as fantastic as the plot turns in Dashiel Hammett?s Maltese
Falcon, a golden coffin originally created for Pharaoh Akhenaten has traveled over millennia from the workshop of the craftsmun at Thebes, to the Valley of the Kings to be unearthed by 20th
century archaeologist, American Theodore Davis.
The wondrous, gold incrusted work of art was installed in the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities,
Cairo where it remained until somewhere between 1915 and 1931 when the lower half of the
In 1972 it was found in the possession of a Swiss antiquities dealer, who sold it to a number of
individuals until it was sold to a museum in Munich in the 1980s. Museum authorities restored
the gilded funereal artifact. Egypt tried repeatedly to retrieve the lower part, but Munich insisted that another object, an Old Kingdom offering table, be given in exchange. Finally, in 2001, an agreement was reached. Before the sarcophagus could return to its homeland, and become whole once more, however, it was put on display for three months in Munich, where 60,000 visitors came to get a last glimpse. It was exhibited for the first time during the exhibition "the secret of the golden coffin."
In a grand gesture to cultural cooperation, Egyptian authorities agreed to loan the Bavarian
authority the top of the fabled coffin for exhibition. Then the lower part of the coffin came home to Kemet, returned to the Egyptian museum On 25th of January. The masterpiece is now on display in the Akhenaten hall of the Egyptian Museum.
Information courtesy of Al-Ahram Weekly and Reuters News