The U.S. Attorney in St. Louis today told the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals that negotiations have failed in the case of United States v. Mask of Ka Nefer Nefer
. Federal authorities are attempting to seize and forfeit the mummy mask from the St. Louis Art Museum and hope to return it to Egypt.
The federal district court in St. Louis twice dismissed the case last year before prosecutors filed an appeal to the higher court. But prosecutors told the appeals court in a January 17, 2013 status report that negotiations might resolve the matter. “It is the hope of the parties that this meeting will result in the parties and the Republic of Egypt coming to terms that will settle this matter in its entirety, such that no further appellate proceedings will be required,” the report explained.
Today’s report, in contrast, closes the door on any negotiated settlement. It announces:
“In the interim between the United States’ last status report and the present date, the parties have continued to confer in good faith in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution of this case. Unfortunately, the parties’ attempts have so far been unsuccessful, and the United States no longer believes that a nonjudicial resolution of this case is likely in the foreseeable future.”
The case will be placed back on the court docket and proceed to litigation.