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Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Art dealer jailed for smuggling
The British Museum's Egyptian gallery
Egyptian aretefacts are sought-after around the world
A top New York art dealer has been sentenced to almost three years in jail for selling smuggled ancient Egyptian artefacts, a prosecutor has said.

The dealer, Frederick Schultz, was fined $50,000 (34,000) on top of the 33-month sentence, according to federal prosecutor James Comey.


He was no different than an ordinary thief

James Comey
Federal prosecutor
Schultz sold treasures including a $1.2m (816,000) bust of a pharaoh that had been smuggled out of Egypt disguised as a cheap souvenir.

Mr Comey said Schultz was involved in an "international conspiracy" to receive stolen artefacts.

He had been convicted of receiving and possessing stolen $1.5m (1m) in Egyptian antiquities by a jury in February.

The pieces were said to have been found by local people, and were passed to Schultz by convicted UK dealer Jonathan Tokeley-Parry.

Tacky

The main artefact involved was the stone sculpture of the head of Amenhotep III, who died in 1375 BC.

Tokeley-Parry had smuggled the piece out of Egypt by dipping it in plastic and painting it black to make it look like a tacky memento.

He then sold it to Schultz, who ran Frederick Schultz Ancient Art on New York's East 57th Street, for $915,000 (622,000) in 1992.

Schultz sold it on to a London-based collector for $1.2m.

'Thief'

The men told potential clients that the objects were part of the Thomas Alcock Collection, which was gathered by a UK family in the 1920s.

"He was stealing, in every sense of the world," Mr Comey said. "He was no different than an ordinary thief."

Tokeley-Parry had spent three years in a UK jail from 1997 for smuggling, and gave evidence against his former collaborator.

In 2001, the UK government was under pressure to tighten laws surrounding the sale of ancient artefacts after a BBC investigation revealed antiquities looted from sites in Jordan could be making their way onto London markets.

See also:

31 Jan 02 | Entertainment
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