An ancient wooden sarcophagus that was featured at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences was returned to Egypt after U.S. authorities determined it was looted years ago. The repatriation is part of Egyptian government efforts to stop the trafficking of its stolen antiquities. In 2021, authorities in Cairo succeeded in getting 5,300 stolen artifacts returned to Egypt from across the world. It was symbolically handed over at a ceremony Monday in Cairo by Daniel Rubinstein, the U.S. charge d’affaires in Egypt. The handover came more than three months after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office determined the sarcophagus was looted from Abu Sir Necropolis, north of Cairo. It was smuggled through Germany into the United States in 2008, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg. Bragg said the same network had smuggled a gilded coffin out of Egypt that was featured at New York’s Metropolitan Museum. Met bought the piece from a Paris art dealer in 2017 for about $4 million. It was returned to Egypt in 2019.