Egypt's antiquities minister said on Wednesday that U.S. authorities had agreed to return eight Pharaonic items smuggled into the United States in 2011. In a statement published by official Egyptian news agency MENA, Mohammed Ibrahim said that he had secured the return of the items while on an official visit to Washington D.C. The items "represent ancient Egyptian civilization," Ibrahim said, and include models of wooden boats dating back nearly four millennia, the lid of a sarcophagus painted over with the portrait of its deceased occupant and a mummy encased in colourfully decorated plaster. The statement noted the artworks were seized by American Homeland Security officials when they arrived at customs in New York City and had probably been excavated illegally and smuggled. Egypt and other Arab countries beset by security and political turmoil since 2011 Arab Spring uprisings have struggled to secure ancient sites and stanch the flow of smuggling.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Legal experts say a dispute between the CIA and the Senate that became public this week has no obvious path toward criminal prosecution and may be better resolved through political compromise.