The Egyptology community in Egypt and abroad was both shocked and outraged last year when a British museum sold the 4,500-year-old Sekhemka statue it had acquired from a Briton who took it during a visit to Egypt in the 1850s.
It is now even more angered as time is running out for someone to buy the precious artifact before its export ban expires and it leaves the U.K. for good.
However, the Sekhemka statue is not the only ancient Egyptian antiquity wrongfully taken or given away, many prominent pieces have been residing away from their rightful homeland for decades.
Despite Egypt's continued efforts to reclaim many of these masterpieces, the cities that have made them their own landmarks and the museums that profit enormously from displaying them continue to refuse giving them up.
1. Nefertiti's Bust (Berlin, Germany)
The iconic 3,300 year old limestone bust of the famous Egyptian queen was discovered by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered in 1912 in Egypt's Amarna and shipped off to Germany. It is now displayed at the Neues Museum in Berlin.
The former head of Egypt's Supreme Antiquities Council, Zahi Hawass, repeatedly tried to bring back the bust along with several other pieces in this list but to no avail; he even requested its temporary loan to an Egyptian museum in 2007.
2. The Rosetta Stone (London, UK)
The famous inscribed stone, which helped decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, was discovered by a French soldier during the French expedition to Egypt and then taken by British troops in 1801. It has been the highlight of the Egyptian collection at the British Museum since 1802.
3. The Ankhhaf Bust (Boston, US)
The limestone bust is a rare true portrait of King Khufu's brother, it was created by one of the masters of ancient Egyptian art in the Old Kingdom. Discovered by a U.S. museum expedition in 1925, it is now displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
4. The Dendera Zodiac Ceiling (Paris, France)
The masterpiece is a famous ceiling sculpture that is considered the only complete map of the ancient sky; it is an ancient Egyptian representation of the astrological calendar.
It was removed and taken from the ceiling of the Dendera temple by a French antique dealer in 1821 and is now displayed at the Louvre in Paris.
5. The Statue of Hemiunu (Hildesheim, Germany)
The intact and life-size statue of the architect who built the Great Pyramid of Giza was discovered in 1912 by a German and Austrian expedition and is now displayed in the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim, Germany.
6. The Luxor Obelisk (Paris, France)
The 23-meter-high 19th dynasty Egyptian obelisk is the centerpiece of the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Referred to as the "Paris needle," it was originally from the Luxor Temple and was gifted to France by Muhammed Ali Pasha of Egypt in 1826.
7. The Akhenaten and Nefertiti shrine statue (Paris, France)
The small colored shrine statue, which depicts the 18th dynasty king and queen holding hands in a rare portrait, is considered one of the main highlights of the Louvre's Egyptian collection.
8. The London Needle (London, UK)
The 18th dynasty Egyptian obelisk, referred to as "Cleopatra's needle," was made for the Pharaoh Thotmes III in 1460 BC.
It was transported to England in 1878 and now resides on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges in London.
9. The Seated Scribe Statue (Paris, France)
The painted limestone sculpture of a sitting scribe is considered one of the most significant symbols of ancient Egyptian art. It was discovered by a French archaeologist in 1850 and is now displayed at the Louvre.
10. The New York Needle (New York City, US)
After the first Egyptian obelisk was erected in Paris, followed by the second one in London, the United States was determined to get one of its own.
Also referred to as "Cleopatra's needle," it is the twin of the London obelisk and was secured in 1879 by then American Consul General in Cairo Elbert E. Farman. It now sits in Central Park in NYC as the city's oldest artifact.