A late update on this story and I apologize for that:

The famed Louvre museum quickly resolved its quarrel with Egypt yesterday by agreeing to return the steles Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass accused them of purchasing on the black market, the New York Times reports.

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand organized a special meeting to make a final decision on the fate of the five relics. The committee came to the conclusion that Egypt had provided sufficient evidence to prove the pieces were stolen and thus, made a unanimous decision to return them in good faith.

Mitterrand had previously told media that he was in favor of returning the pieces as long as proof that they were stolen was provided by Egypt.

Mitterrand also told media that the relics were not purchased on the black market. In fact, he said, four of the pieces were purchased from the Maspero gallery in France in 2000 and the other from an auction in Paris three years later.

The five estranged frescoes are believed to be from the tomb of Tetaki, a 3,200-year-old cleric who was laid to rest in the Valley of Kings near Luxor.

Egypt says it will resume relations with the museum after the relics are returned home. The French culture ministry is optimistic that the whole ordeal will be resolved in a matter of weeks.

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at http://sachinseth.com or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

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