France Returns the Louvre's Wall Paintings Sought by Egypt

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Fragments of an ancient wall painting that caused a feud between Egypt and the Louvre Museum are heading home.

France returned the ancient artwork to Egyptian officials after President Hosni Mubarak inspected one of the fragments following a visit with his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy. The pockmarked slab in sepia and blue tones, from a 3,200-year-old tomb near the ancient temple city of Luxor, shows an offering from a nobleman to a servant.

Egypt's antiquities czar Zahi Hawass cut ties with the Louvre in October, saying the famed Paris museum had refused to return the fragments. Egyptian officials said the artifacts had been stolen in the 1980s — chipped from the tomb's walls.

French officials quickly agreed to hand over the fragments following a recommendation by scientific experts.

France said the works had been acquired by the Louvre "in good faith" in 2000 and 2003, but doubts emerged last year about whether the pieces had been taken from Egypt illegally years before...

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