VIENNA – Austria has returned an ushabti to Egypt after recovering the ancient funerary figurine from two men who were trying to sell it for millions of euros (dollars.)
Placed in the tombs of rich or royal Egyptians, ushabtis were meant to work as servants for the deceased in the afterlife.
The statue was handed over Monday to Egyptian Ambassador Khaled Abdelrahman Abdellatif Shamaa by Sabine Haag, head of Austria's Museum of Fine Arts. Experts there say it was made about 3,000 years ago.
It was given to the museum for safekeeping after police confiscated it earlier this year from two men who said they bought it at a flea market.
They said they wanted to sell the figure for 2 million euros ($2.15 million), about 200 times its estimated value.