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France will return artworks to Egypt

October 10, 2009|Bloomberg News

France said Friday it would return to Egypt five fresco fragments acquired by the Louvre Museum, saying there were "serious doubts" about their provenance and responding to Egyptian demands for their return.

The 35-member commission overseeing France's national museum collections unanimously agreed that the fresco fragments from the wall of a prince's tomb must be given back, the culture ministry said in an e-mailed release. Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand will comply.

Earlier this week, Egypt suspended cooperation with the Louvre, saying the Paris museum was not returning the mural paintings removed from Luxor in the 1980s. The Supreme Council of Antiquities said the Louvre was refusing to honor an agreement to give back all stolen and smuggled Egyptian antiquities.

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