An ancient stone tablet that was illegally smuggled out of Egypt 31 years ago has been returned, the country announced Wednesday.
The carved stone tablet from the reign of King Amenhotep I was found for sale at an auction house in London. Amenhotep ruled Egypt from 1526 to 1506 BC.
Egypt originally had the tablet on display at an open-air museum in the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor. It was stolen in 1988 and smuggled out of the country.
Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry in Cairo thanked British authorities and the Egyptian embassy in London for stopping the piece from being sold. The ministry has cracked down on stolen items in recent years, saying it won’t help museums around the world stage Egyptian exhibits if they are found stealing smuggled objects.
The tablet was originally found in September.