museum budapest
Photo: Daily News Hungary

(MTI) – The purchase of an ancient artefact originating from Egypt was entirely legitimate, Hungary’s Museum of Fine Arts said on Friday, responding to press reports suggesting the tomb relief dating back more than four millennia had been taken out of Egypt illegally in 2002.

The museum bought the relief of Haw Nefer, a priest at the time of Pepi I (2332-2283 BC) from prestigious London-based antiquities dealer Rupert Wace Ancient Art with Hungarian government financing of 100 million forints (EUR 327,000) in 2013.

Among Rupert Wace’s clients are several leading museums including the British Museum and the Louvre, it noted.

The Fine Arts Museum conducts every purchase with the maximum care, always verifying a piece’s origin and legal background, it said. In case of the contested tomb relief, it verified the piece’s origin and has documents recording its history dating back to 1974.

“Further, the ministry also holds a certificate issued by the Art Loss Register that, together with related provisions of the purchase contract, guarantees Hungary’s rightful ownership,” the museum said.

Photo: Daily News Hungary


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