New York’s Metropolitan Museum buys ‘Treasure of Harageh’

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The famous Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has purchased the ‘Treasure of Harageh’, stopping the sale at auction of the collection of 4,000-year-old Egyptian artefacts, which had been condemned by both Egyptologists and members of the public.

The ‘Treasure of Harageh’ collection consists of 37 items, such as flasks, vases and jewellery, which were discovered by the British archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie, in a tomb near the city of Fayoum, Egypt in 1914.

The  extraordinary collection of silver jewellery and alabaster vessels were given to the St Louis Society Inc in the US, who had made donations towards the excavation.

The Treasure of Harageh will be displayed with the rest of the Egyptian artefacts (photo: tripadvisor.com)

Bonhams auction house in Mayfair, London, withdrew the artefacts on the day of the sale on Thursday and announced the sale to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday, but did not disclose the purchase price, though the ‘Treasure of Harageh’ was valued at $200,000.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a extensive Egyptian collection (photo: inzumi.com)

The collection was initially displayed at the St Louis Art Museum, and then at Washington University, before it was placed in private storage two years ago.

Alice Stevenson, curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, said a sale to a private buyer would have violated an agreement between the Petrie museum and the St. Louis Inc. group, that antiquities be displayed in public museums, accessible to both researchers and the public.

Douglas Boin, a history professor at Saint Louis University, called the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s purchase “a happy ending for the collection.”