Zut alors! The former president and director of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, has been indicted in an antiquities smuggling investigation. Art News is reporting that, as part of that investigation, five Egyptian artifacts have been seized from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art by the New York District Attorney’s Office. Collectively, the five objets d’art volés are worth $3 million. Among the seized pieces are a Fayum portrait (one of those paintings that went on the face of mummies during the Roman occupation of Egypt) and fragments of a wall hanging that is considered one of the oldest representations of the Book of Exodus.
Four of the pieces came to the museum through German-Lebanese dealer Roben Dib, who is suspected of selling looted art to both the Met and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. He is currently awaiting trial in Paris on charges of gang fraud and money laundering. Meanwhile, when the British Museum was amassing their collection, it was common practice to do a little tomb raiding. As a treat.