Egypt repatriates looted ancient Green Coffin sarcophagus from US | Arts and Culture News

The sarcophagus, symbolically returned at a ceremony, dates again to the Late Dynastic Interval of historical Egypt, officers say.

An historical picket sarcophagus often known as the “Inexperienced Coffin” has been returned to Egypt from the Houston Museum of Pure Sciences in america, after US authorities decided it was looted years in the past.

The repatriation is a part of Egyptian authorities efforts to cease the trafficking of its stolen antiquities. In 2021, authorities in Cairo succeeded in getting 5,300 stolen artifacts returned to Egypt from the world over.

Mostafa Waziri, the highest official on the Supreme Council of Antiquities, stated on Monday that the sarcophagus dates again to the Late Dynastic Interval of historical Egypt, an period spanning from the time of the final Pharaonic rulers in 664 BC till Alexander the Nice’s marketing campaign in 332 BC.

The traditional picket sarcophagus is displayed throughout a handover ceremony on the international ministry in Cairo, Egypt [Mohamed Salah/AP Photo]

The sarcophagus, nearly three metres (9.5 ft) tall with a brightly painted prime floor, might have belonged to an historical priest named Ankhenmaat, although a few of the inscriptions on it have been erased, Waziri stated.

It was symbolically handed over at a ceremony following a information convention on Monday in Cairo by Daniel Rubinstein, the US chargé d’affaires in Egypt.

Egypt’s International Minister Sameh Shoukry and the nation’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa have been additionally in attendance.

“A valuable piece of Egypt’s historical past was recovered after cooperation with our pals within the US, and after efforts that lasted for a number of years,” Shoukry stated.

Coffin was ‘trafficked’

The handover got here greater than three months after the Manhattan District Lawyer’s Workplace decided the sarcophagus was looted from Abu Sir Necropolis, north of Cairo. It was smuggled via Germany into the US in 2008, based on Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin L Bragg.

“This gorgeous coffin was trafficked by a well-organised community that has looted numerous antiquities from the area,” Bragg stated on the time. “We’re happy that this object will likely be returned to Egypt, the place it rightfully belongs.”

Bragg stated the identical community had smuggled a gilded coffin out of Egypt that was featured at New York Metropolis’s Metropolitan Museum of Artwork. The museum had purchased the piece from a Paris artwork vendor in 2017 for about $4m. It was returned to Egypt in 2019.

In September, the Metropolitan Museum returned 16 antiquities to Egypt after a probe within the US concluded that they had been illegally trafficked.

The return of the sarcophagus comes as extra international locations are demanding the repatriation of artefacts representing their heritage from museums in Europe and North America.

Egyptians have additionally been demanding the repatriation of the Rosetta Stone – one of the essential items within the British Museum – 200 years after the deciphering of the slab unlocked the secrets and techniques of hieroglyphic script and marked the delivery of Egyptology.

Egypt says the return of artefacts helps increase its tourism sector, an important supply of earnings for its struggling economic system. The nation is quickly anticipated to open a brand new museum close to the Giza pyramids to showcase its most well-known historical Egyptian collections.

‘The past glory is returning’: Ibadan’s nascent artistic revival | Arts and Culture News

Ibadan, Nigeria – Lower than a yr in the past, a portray by Oluwole Omofemi hung, unguarded, on the aspect entrance to the gray concrete constructing the place he maintains his two-room studio.

Simply steps above considered one of Ibadan’s busiest thoroughfares, the younger lady within the portrait had a assured stance, her face framed by a halo-like afro. She hung uncovered but unbothered by a whole bunch of passersby.

Earlier this yr, Omofemi eliminated the portray for secure retaining in his private assortment after comparable works from his Metamorphosis sequence had been bought for greater than 100,000 euros ($96,000) in auctions at Phillips and Christie’s. In March 2022, Invader, a portray that had an estimated worth of $10,000 to $15,000, bought for $189,000.

Just like the portray, till not too long ago Omofemi, 34, has been hiding in plain sight in considered one of Ibadan’s most energetic business centres, the place he established his present studio house in 2018.

“I need to be very quiet,” Omofemi advised Al Jazeera. “I need to stay a traditional life that a median citizen [would] stay.”

He recollects a second at a celebration when folks had been discussing Nigerian artists and the topic shifted to him.

“Folks had been saying, ‘There’s this one man in Ibadan. This man has been making this, has been doing that,’ and I used to be simply there, quiet,” he stated. “A number of these collectors don’t even know me.”

Butterly Kiss, 2021 courtesy of Oluwole Omofemi
Butterly Kiss, 2021 [Courtesy of Oluwole Omofemi]

However Omofemi’s hopes of staying underneath the radar are dwindling.

In April, the third solo present of his profession opened at Out of Africa Gallery in Barcelona, with all 10 work bought and a ready checklist of 75 potential patrons.

Now, collectors ship emissaries to seek out Omofemi’s Ibadan studio, hoping to entice him to promote his works straight.

In Might, Tatler journal commissioned Omofemi to color a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II for its July difficulty, which celebrated her platinum jubilee, bringing his profile to new heights. It might be the final portray manufactured from her earlier than her dying in early September.

Oluwole Omofemi [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]
Omofemi, 34, has been in his present Ibadan studio since 2018 [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

Omofemi’s rise is bringing extra consideration to his hometown of Ibadan – Nigeria’s third largest metropolis by inhabitants, with greater than 6 million folks, situated some 140km (85 miles) northeast of Lagos.

Whereas Ibadan got here to be eclipsed by Lagos as Nigeria’s cultural powerhouse, its legacy as an incubator for a lot of of Nigeria’s most celebrated artists and intellectuals lengthy precedes Omofemi, and he’s simply one of many many artists sparking a nascent inventive revival within the metropolis.

‘Goals past cash’

Based in Ibadan in 1961, the Mbari Membership, with its gallery house, library, and efficiency venue, was not solely the creative centre of the town however of Nigeria as an entire. Members included visible artist Bruce Onobrakpeya and younger writers Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. Now giants of Nigerian fashionable artwork, Uche Okeke and Demas Nwoko had been each energetic members.

Within the Sixties, Ibadan was Nigeria’s most populous metropolis and a global vacation spot. Malcolm X lectured on the College of Ibadan in 1964. Visible artists, together with Somali modernist Ibrahim El-Salahi and the widely-acclaimed American painter Jacob Lawrence, travelled to take part within the inventive exchanges on the Mbari Membership.

When drummer and visible artist Tunde Odunlade moved from Ife to Ibadan in 1973, the town was nonetheless “a melting pot the place the event of latest artwork [in] Nigeria took off … there was no artist from Nigeria that might not move by means of Ibadan – musical, visible, dance”.

However, over nearly 50 years within the metropolis, Odunlade witnessed the shift of the nation’s creative centre from Ibadan to Lagos.

“Lagos turned the business hub of the nation, and it was straightforward for artwork to move there,” Odunlade stated.   

Tunde Odunlade [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]
‘Lagos turned the business hub of the nation, and it was straightforward for artwork to move there,’ Tunde Odunlade stated [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

Nonetheless, Odunlade and others have sought to revive Ibadan’s creative scene in recent times.

As a well-established visible artist in his personal proper, he based Tunde Odunlade Arts and Tradition Connexions in Ibadan’s Bodija district in December 2020. The gallery house options a variety of works, having displayed the works of greater than 80 artists since opening.

Equally notable is that it offers a welcoming and accessible location for younger cultural practitioners occupied with reviving Ibadan’s creative power to stage occasions, conferences and workshops.

“The previous glory of Ibadan is now returning, and I’m glad that I’m a part of the entire story,” Odunlade asserts.

“I’m not shocked about what is going on in Ibadan at the moment, particularly with Oluwole Omofemi. I’m not shocked as a result of he lives in an setting the place there’s peace, the place your inspiration won’t simply disappear due to hullabaloo round you.”

Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera
Luxurious purse designer Femi Olayebi says, ‘Ibadan affords you the flexibility to be inventive’ [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

About 25 minutes’ drive away from Odunlade’s centre, luxurious purse designer Femi Olayebi’s administrative headquarters and manufacturing facility occupy two full storeys in an unmarked constructing in central Ibadan.

Throughout her 30-year profession, Olayebi has been chosen for a merchandising mentorship programme at Saks fifth Avenue, accomplished a fellowship at MIT, and based the Lagos Leather-based Honest, all whereas efficiently scaling up the enterprise she based from her house right into a staff of dozens of workers.

At totally different factors in her profession, Olayebi recollects questioning, “If I had been in Lagos, would I’ve succeeded quicker? Would I’ve succeeded earlier? At the start, I believed ‘sure’, however now I’m wiser, and I do know that the reply is an absolute no.”

Olayebi feels “the stress of Lagos doesn’t exist in Ibadan. Ibadan affords you the flexibility to be inventive since you’re not sitting in visitors for hours on finish … After which there’s additionally the truth that, in Lagos, to have [the] form of house that I’ve, would have value me an absolute fortune.”

Like Olayebi, painter Modupeola Fadugba has had many successes in her profession. The previous Smithsonian Fellow and up to date New York Emmy winner within the class of DEI Lengthy Kind Content material for her quick documentary, Goals from the Deep Finish, has made a acutely aware option to base her observe in Ibadan.

“I’ve at all times been somebody that doesn’t fairly wish to be within the centre,” she explains. “However I can have entry to it if and after I’m prepared.”

Fadugba selected to settle in Ibadan. “It’s quiet, so I can assume and have much more house.”

Modupeola Fadugba [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]
Modupeola Fadugba explains her cause for selecting Ibadan as ‘it’s quiet, so I can assume and have much more house’ [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

Omofemi additionally credit Ibadan as being integral to his growth.

“I’m very delicate to the issues round me, each the seen and non secular –  very, very delicate, and I get my inspiration from all the pieces I see.”

Whereas Omofemi has been influenced by Ibadan, it has been the challenges that it has introduced which have propelled him to worldwide stardom.

Omofemi’s present studio is lower than 10 minutes by motorbike from the roadside kiosk the place he used to promote commissioned portraits for the equal of $10 to $30, a dwelling that he was snug with on the time.

In Him I Trust, Oluwole Omofemi
In Him I Belief, 2021 [Courtesy of Oluwole Omofemi]

All of that was disrupted in 2017 when the Oyo State Authorities launched a city-wide marketing campaign towards avenue merchandising, forcing him from the situation the place he had bought his work since secondary college.

Ibadan-based painter and gallery proprietor Tope Fatunmbi had been encouraging Omofemi’s profession since secondary college, whereas revered painter Ebenezer Akinola additionally served as an necessary mentor.

Though Omofemi was initially sure that his artwork profession was over, Akinola started to introduce him and his work to established galleries.

“He took me to Lagos, and he launched my portray to [Alexis] Gallery, and the gallery was so excited to work with me.”

He exhibited at Lagos mainstays, together with Terra Kulture and Thought Pyramid, but it surely was Signature Gallery that noticed his work as viable within the worldwide market. They launched the opening of their London gallery with a solo present of Omofemi’s work in March 2020. The 12 large-scale portraits bought out.

Right this moment, the intensified highlight on his work has led to a number of affords from the world’s high public sale homes to dealer the sale of The Queen together with bidding wars for unique public sale rights to his different works.

Again in Ibadan, with as much as 10 younger apprentices in his studio at any given time, Omofemi stays devoted to nurturing the following era of the town’s creative skills.

“My ideas, my goals [are] past simply having cash,” he asserts.

“I spent most of my life right here … I’ve at all times wished to present again to my speedy setting in my neighborhood. I don’t need to be an artist with out impression. I need to be an artist with a footprint in folks’s lives.”

How we remember them: My grandmother’s dining room set | Arts and Culture

Up to now two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, loss has been a part of the lives of thousands and thousands. In “How we keep in mind them”, we replicate on how we course of loss and the issues – tangible and intangible – that remind us of these we now have misplaced. 

When the grandmother who raised me died, we inherited her eating room desk, chairs, hutch and tea cart. After driving throughout three states in a rented U-haul, we picked them up from the house she shared with my lately deceased grandfather – who died three months prior, right down to the precise hour and minute – and introduced them again to the house we had made with our personal youngsters.

I don’t keep in mind the place we put the large hutch in the home that I grew up in. When I attempt to, it appears that evidently it doesn’t match anyplace within the tiled and wallpapered eating room within the centre of the home. I keep in mind the precise location of the tea cart and desk although. It’s humorous what we neglect – what we lose by the years – and what we keep in mind.

I recall coming house from a visit to downtown Boston with a buddy and her mother and father. Her father was the pinnacle electrician in a big division retailer. We went to see the vacation window shows. Every show had a wondrous Christmas theme. The eating room set was delivered within the night. I used to be 12 or 13 years previous then. Or was I 15? I can’t appear to recall, however I do know I’m flawed.

My household moved into the primary home my grandparents owned once I was 9. Again then, there was solely a kitchen with a wood desk within the house the place we had beforehand lived. Our new home had a proper eating room and would have required a eating room set. I’m certain my grandmother ordered one immediately. I’ve nobody to ask to verify the precise yr and time when the eating set arrived; my grandparents are lifeless. I suppose I might name my brother. We don’t discuss a lot although, and we now have not seen one another in over three years.


My grandparents have lavish dinners on the eating room desk. We’re solely allowed to eat there on Sundays and when firm comes.

My brother lets his buddies play Danger, a technique board recreation that pits the USSR and its allies in opposition to the US and the remainder of the world. Or possibly the sport was referred to as Axis and Allies. He’s 15 or 16 years previous. I’m three years youthful and a tattletale. After all, there are ladies there, so I really feel justified in ratting him out. My grandparents are indignant once they discover out. Nobody sits on the eating room desk. Certain, they’re firm, however not the correct.


The chandelier is not possible to wash. It’s divided into 4 tiers. Every glass piece should be cleaned individually, lifted off with care my grandmother feels solely she possesses. A glass cleaner, newspaper and cautious palms wash the chandelier a number of occasions annually.

The hutch is equally as complicated with its glass-plated home windows and cabinets. It holds costly crystal wine glasses and chinaware, a complete set stamped with the date 1968 and the model, Noritake. I may even inherit the white set with petite flowers in yellows and blues. I exploit it twice a yr on Easter and Thanksgiving. I maintain my breath whereas we eat. Every meal is an anxiety-inducing occasion the place I pray a baby or relative is not going to drop a plate or teacup, breaking apart the set held collectively since 1968. I don’t keep in mind my grandmother ever utilizing the china. This can be why.

The chandelier is an excessive amount of work. I have no idea who inherited it.


The eating room set will not be my model. It’s a gentle wooden, oak I might say, if I needed to guess, and the chairs are cream colored. I’ve 4 kids and three pets. We don’t do cream. The chairs have been reupholstered as soon as by the point the set finds its method to my home. My grandmother used to make the youngsters cowl the chairs with towels earlier than sitting on them each time we ventured there for a go to.

My youngsters spill on the chairs. I refuse to make use of towels to cowl them, and I think about my grandmother scolding me from wherever she wound up. I can’t keep in mind once I stopped caring in regards to the stains, possibly after the primary stain although I can’t recall when that was. I do know that I need my youngsters’ childhoods to be messier than mine, freer.

Generally once I sit on the desk, I think about my grandparents are there ingesting their morning espresso and consuming breakfast, toast with peanut butter. The newspaper is bartered by part. He likes sports activities and nationwide information. Gram will get residing and the obituaries. She is in control of combing over them of their retirement. A Hawkeye, Gram doesn’t wish to miss the demise of a buddy, which has morphed into as necessary an occasion as dinner events as soon as had been. To overlook a funeral could be a geriatric fake pas nearly past restore.

“Your grandfather reads the paper cowl to cowl every day,” I think about my grandmother saying as she so typically did when she was alive. Gramps passes her the circulars. Gram enjoys purchasing so long as she will get a discount.


When my grandparents promote my childhood house, after I am going to school, and transfer to an house, they’ve a galley kitchen with no room for a desk. They ditch our darkish wood kitchen desk and convey solely the eating room set. The house has a lounge/eating room mixture. The desk and the hutch are all the time the primary issues we see once they greet us on our return journeys house.

The eating desk is the place the place we share meals from my favorite restaurant with my youngsters, a Chinese language eatery positioned subsequent to a comfort retailer the place I purchased packs of cigarettes effectively earlier than I might legally smoke them. With the sharing of our favorite dinner, we’re passing habits and historical past alongside to the subsequent era.

It is usually the place Gram sits decked out in a Star Wars stormtrooper masks that my son acquired for Christmas. A white scarf covers her bald head. She misplaced her thick darkish hair after the chemotherapy. “Most cancers is a b***h,” she says, her voice altered by the voice changer within the masks.

The be aware she wrote about my grandfather’s needs for after his demise had been penned on the desk as effectively. They composed it collectively, after which she typed it for him, calling upon her years as a secretary who set file speeds for the phrases she might kind per minute. It’s dated Might 4, 2013, simply two months earlier than Gramps’s demise.

“Expensive Jamie and Nicole,” it reads.

“I’m typing this for Gramps, however these are his needs. 

“He would love a standard wake – open casket. Don’t know if this may be performed, however Gramps would love bagpipes through the wake.” 

We had them together with males in kilts to replicate his Irish heritage.

She continued:

“Funeral house may even be at Ward’s on Broadway in Everett with Mass on the Immaculate Conception Church. Gramps might be cremated additionally and positioned on the foot of Grandma Russo’s grave. 

In his earlier experiences, Gramps stated he got here by (avoiding demise after a number of coronary heart assaults and a surgery) as a result of there was no “slip” obtainable on the “Nice Marina” within the sky. Properly, a “slip” has grow to be obtainable, and he’s at peace and might be completely satisfied to see his mom and father and Auntie Frances (his youthful sister), and our household additionally. 

After I wrote about you and your households, I typed “we” as a result of it applies to each of us. And it goes with out saying that we’ll someday see one another and our Lord in Paradise. However, hopefully, not for a really, very very long time. 

Gramps is at an incredible place and completely satisfied, so let the social gathering start!! 



I can’t think about what it was like to write down this letter, however I can think about them beneath the glow of the four-tiered chandelier that was a bit dim as a result of Gram was too sick to wash it.

Gram will sit on the desk once more a couple of months later. Her husband of many many years is gone. He died on the hospital with out her. A will sits in entrance of her. It is going to divide what she and my grandfather spent a lifetime buying and what they may depart behind to my brother and me. In a voice worn away by the most cancers that consumes her, she asks, “Do I signal right here?” earlier than sighing and saying, “That is all so complicated.” My brother reveals her the signature line, and she or he scratches out her title in black ink.

In a couple of weeks, she is going to die within the again bed room she shared with my grandfather. I’ll miss her remaining moments as I drive frantically from Maine, the place I stay with my husband and youngsters, to her house in Massachusetts.


The eating room desk, hutch, chairs, and tea cart stay in our eating room, a shrine to the individuals who helped increase me. In some way although, the eating room set has grow to be my very own, my household’s. It’s a excellent marriage of reminiscences from my previous and people I proceed to create. I ponder reupholstering the chairs, realizing that Gram could be shocked by their situation, however the desk wobbles regardless of what number of occasions I climb beneath it with a screwdriver and try and tighten the screws.

The set is many years previous.

Perhaps it’s time to store for a brand new set, one thing extra my model, one thing that’s simply mine. I consider this once I cross by the eating room on my method to the kitchen because the hutch gentle illuminates the treasures my grandmother collected inside, together with wine glasses and china, and I perceive that I’m simply not prepared. Not but anyway. Perhaps not ever.

Head of top German art fair resigns in anti-Semitism row | Arts and Culture News

Sabine Schormann leaves her put up at Documenta after an exhibit that includes anti-Semitic parts prompted an outcry.

The pinnacle of a serious artwork present in Germany has resigned after an exhibit that includes anti-Semitic parts prompted an outcry on the occasion’s opening final month.

Sabine Schormann, the director normal of Documenta, one of many world’s greatest artwork gala’s, left her put up as chief govt by mutual settlement, the artwork truthful’s govt board mentioned on Saturday.

It additionally expressed remorse about what it described as “unambiguously anti-Semitic motifs” seen in one of many works proven on the opening weekend.

“The presentation of the banner ‘Individuals’s Justice’ by the artists collective Taring Padi with its anti-Semitic imagery was a transparent transgression and thereby induced important hurt to the Documenta,” the board mentioned.

The banner featured a soldier with the face of a pig, carrying a neckerchief with a Star of David and a helmet inscribed with the phrase “Mossad,” the identify of Israel’s intelligence company. It was taken down inside days after widespread criticism from Jewish teams and German and Israeli officers.

The Taring Padi collective, primarily based in Indonesia, has already apologised for the incident. It mentioned the work — which it mentioned was first exhibited on the South Australia Artwork Competition in Adelaide 20 years in the past — was “under no circumstances associated” to anti-Semitism, however as a substitute referred to the post-1965 dictatorship in Indonesia.

“We’re sorry that particulars of this banner are misunderstood aside from their unique objective. We apologise for the accidents induced on this context,” it mentioned final month.

It acknowledged that the incident adopted months of debate about alleged anti-Semitism, which it and the present’s organisers had strongly rejected.

Germany’s president raised the difficulty of anti-Semitism throughout his speech on the present’s opening, saying there have been “limits” to what artists can do once they tackle political points in a rustic that’s nonetheless atoning for the Holocaust.

This 12 months’s Documenta is being curated by Indonesian artwork collective Ruangrupa, which has damaged with custom by utilizing a collaborative format and welcoming a wider vary of members from the World South than earlier editions of the exhibition.

However the debate surrounding the occasion has raised questions on whether or not Germany’s method to combating anti-Semitism discriminates in opposition to Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian rights, and limits creative freedom.

The modern artwork occasion had been clouded in controversy for months over its inclusion of The Query of Funding collective, a Palestinian artists’ group important of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

In June, a number of weeks earlier than Documenta opened, the collective’s exhibition house was vandalised as intruders let off a fireplace extinguisher and spray painted what appeare to be demise threats on the partitions.

The collective helps BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), a motion to boycott Israel till it withdraws from the Palestinian and Arab territory it occupies.

BDS, which pulls assist from all over the world, was branded anti-Semitic by the German parliament in 2019 and barred from receiving federal funds. Roughly half of Documenta’s $42m finances comes from public funds.

Within the years since, supporters of BDS have been stripped of awards, disinvited from occasions, and publicly denounced as antisemites.

Germany is dwelling to Europe’s largest inhabitants of Palestinians, however many discover the political local weather is turning into more and more hostile in direction of them.

A professional-Palestinian protestor holds a placard outdoors the Museum Fridericianum [File: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters]