The Egyptian Embassy in Canberra, Australia, has received the fourth and last part of Seshen-Nefertem stela, which had been stolen and spirited out of Egypt more than 20 years ago.
The three other parts of the stela were restored from Switzerland in 2017, said Shaaban Abdel Gawwad, the general supervisor of the department of restored antiquities.
In 1995, Macquarie Museum bought the fourth part of the stela, which had since been on display there before Martin Bomms, director of the museum, willingly returned it to the Egyptian Embassy in Canberra once he knew it had been stolen and smuggled, Abdel Gawwad said.
He also praised efforts exerted by the Ministry of Antiquities and Foreign Ministry to prove Egypt’s right to retrieve the piece.
The four-part stela was discovered during excavations conducted by an archaeological team from the University of Rome in al Asasif cemetery on the West Bank of Luxor between 1976 and 1988, Abdel Gawwad explained.
All four pieces were reported missing during a sort operation at the museum store in al Qarna on the West Bank of Luxor in 1995, he noted.
The four-part stela should be assembled and renovated once the last piece is returned to Egypt, Abdel Gawwad said.