Limestone Block from the Tomb of Imep-Hor
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Date: Old Kingdom, Dynasty 6, ca. 2323-2150 BC
Material: Limestone
Provenance: Saqqara, Tomb of Imep-Hor
Excavation Date: Looted in 1999

Status: Currently in the possession of Arqueológia Clásica Gallery, Barcelona

On March 19th, 2009, Dr. Josep Cervello from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona sent an e-mail to the Secretary General of the SCA expressing his concern about a limestone block that was then on display in the art gallery of Alexandra Irigoyen in Madrid. He recognized the block, through both the style of the hieroglyphic carvings and the name mentioned in the inscription, as coming from the tomb of Imep-Hor at Kom el-Khamsin in South Sqqara. He connected the appearance of this block on the art market with a major robbery at the site in 1999, during which material from the area was looted. It is therefore likely that the block was among the objects stolen during the 1999 theft. Dr. Cervello also was able to ascertain that the piece belongs to the Galerias F. Cervera in Barcelona; the Cerveras are believed to have connections to the black market in antiquities.

Official correspondence has been sent to Ms. Irigoyen requesting the repatriation of the block, but no answer has been received. The block is being posted on Art Loss, and official contact has been made with the Spanish authorities.

The Mask of Ka-nefer-nefer, stolen from Egypt and currently in the possession of the St. Louis Museum of Art (St. Louis Museum of Art)

The stolen block (website of the Alexandra Irigoyen Gallery, Madrid)