A mummy hand destined for a Hollywood prop shop isn't what U.S. Customs Agents usually come across, but this time was a bit different. Stolen by looters, the left hand of a nearly 3,000 year old mummy will join four other ancient artifacts, including a child's sarcophagus and a gilded mummy mask as the artifacts are returned to their home country of Egypt. The ancient objects were smuggled into the United States for a high price; smugglers regularly profit on the turmoil in the Middle East.
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While the mummified hand was discovered en route to a prop shop in Los Angeles, the sarcophagi and burial shroud were confiscated during a multiyear investigation by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) dubbed "Operation Mummy's Curse." To show further support in reducing the illicit trade of Egyptian antiquities into the U.S., a bilateral agreement was signed with Egypt.
Upon returning to Egypt, these object will reside in the new national museum scheduled to open in Giza in 2018.
For more on Operation Mummy's Curse, see the National Geographic June 2016 cover story, "How Tomb Raiders Are Stealing Our History."
PRODUCER/EDITOR: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo
VIDEOGRAPHERS: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Gabrielle Ewing
ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE: Sky News/Getty Images
Stolen Mummy's Left Hand Found and Returned to Egypt | National Geographic
Tagged under: stolen mummy,left hand,egypt,cairo,science,ap archive,national geographic,nat geo,discover,nature,natgeo,animals,wildlife,survival,explore,documentary,hollywood prop shop, customs agents,sarcophagus,mummy mask,artifacts,PLivjPDlt6ApSV6IhEzPW2w60mwFVtXgNR,PLivjPDlt6ApRiBHpsyXWG22G8RPNZ6jlb,hand,stolen,left,mummy
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