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EThekwini Municipality to repatriate ancient mummy to Egypt

Date: 2024-01-19 09:50:27

EThekwini Municipality to repatriate ancient mummy to Egypt

17 JANUARY 2024
EThekwini Municipality intends to repatriate the Egyptian Mummy of a High Priest to its rightful resting place in the North African state.
After extensive deliberation, the City acknowledges the significance of returning the Mummy to its country of origin and honouring its cultural and historical importance to the people of Egypt.
The National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the South African Heritage Resources Agency will provide support to the City in the repatriation process, ensuring that the Mummy is returned to Egypt with the utmost respect and care.
The intent to repatriate the Mummy follows a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding its presence in Durban, which remain unclear. The Municipality recognises the importance of addressing historical injustices and upholding ethical standards in the preservation and handling of cultural artefacts.
Dr Simphiwe Ndlovu, Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture, said the repatriation process, expected to take place during the course of the 2024/2025 financial year, will be conducted in close coordination with Egyptian authorities and in adherence to national and international protocols governing the return of cultural heritage items to their countries of origin.
The Mummy and coffin date back to the Late Dynastic or Early Ptolemaic period (about 300 BCE) and contain the remains of an Egyptian minor priest named Peten-Amun (Ptn-‘Imn), who came originally from Akhmim (Akhmîm), about 354 kilometres from Cairo, Egypt.
There are no cost implications to the City at this stage for the repatriation process.
The City remains committed to upholding principles of cultural preservation, respect for diversity, and ethical stewardship of historical artefacts. This process reflects our dedication to fostering positive and respectful relationships with nations and communities around the world.
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communication Unit.