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Golden Sarcophagus Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum Repatriated to Egypt

Plus, a previously lost masterwork by Eugène Delacroix is heading to Houston, and a Banksy auction subtitled “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this sh*t” sold $1.3 million worth of the artist’s work.

“Gilded Coffin of the Priest Nedjemankh,” Late Ptolemaic Period (150-50 BCE) cartonnage, gold, silver, resin, glass, wood (image courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

An ancient Egyptian coffin acquired in recent years by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has gone back home to Egypt. The gilded sarcophagus, which was revealed as stolen after the Met acquired it in 2017, belonged to the late Priest Nedjemankh and is over 2,100 years old. It was smuggled out of Egypt in 2011, and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance indicated to Reuters that it was potentially one of many artifacts looted by the same trafficking ring. “So, you may well see a few more significant seizures,” he said. The Met released this statement to Hyperallergic in the wake of the coffin’s repatriation ceremony in New York: “The Museum is appreciative of both the government of Egypt and the District Attorney’s efforts, with which we closely cooperated.”

Eugène Delacroix, “Women of Algiers in Their Apartment” (1833–34) (image courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston just announced its acquisition of Eugène Delacroix’s “Women of Algiers in Their Apartment” (1833–34). Rediscovered after being lost for 170 years, the painting was sitting in the apartment of a French collector in recent years, before being sniffed out by Paris gallerist Philippe Mendes. After its authentication this past summer, it was shown at Mendes’s Paris gallery for the first time and will go on view in Houston on October 3.

Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida, the art collecting power couple, have given the Baltimore Museum of Art a total of nine new works from artists from their collection. That will include sculptures, paintings, and text-based pieces by the artists Radcliffe Bailey, Zander Blom, Moshekwa Langa, Clifford Owens, Adam Pendleton, and Purvis Young — as well as two large-scale paintings by Meleko Mokgosi and Angel Otero set to arrive at the museum at a later date. The gift was timed with the September 29 exhibition opening of Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art, which will show works from Joyner and Giuffrida’s collection. While the presentation of most of the new acquisitions is still being planned, “One for Ben Patterson” (2011) by Clifford Owens and “Adorn” by Odili Donald Odita are on view now.

Banksy, “Girl with Balloon – Colour AP (Gold)” (image courtesy Christie’s)

The Christie’s online Banksy sale, subtitled “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this sh*t,” reached a final receipt of £1,122,750 (~$1,383,452) for a range of work across the enigmatic artist’s career. The top lot of the bunch was “Girl with Balloon – Colour AP (Gold),” which sold for £395,250 (~$487,027).

Salvador Dalí, “Le profil du temps” (1977) (image courtesy Christie’s)

The Christie’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale) sale in Shanghai realized a final bill of ¥124,116,000 (~$17,401,227), with works by Salvador Dalí, Zao Wou-Ki, and Yoshitomo Nara topping the lots. Wou-Ki’s “Voie Lactée” (1956) came in with the highest sale price at ¥56,400,000 (~$7,907,354), while Nara’s “Living in the box” (2004) went for ¥7,920,000 (~$1,110,394), and  Dalí’s “Le profil du temps” (1977) realized a ¥7,680,000 (~$1,076,746).

Christie’s sale of Contemporary Art Asia: Including a Collection of Works by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita sold $960,500 worth of pieces. Notable artists whose work sold included Takashi Murakami, Le Pho, and Walasse Ting. Ting’s “Lazy Afternoon” (1976) topped the lots with a final price of $112,500.

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