updated 8/27/2004 4:24:20 PM ET 2004-08-27T20:24:20

An artifact stolen from an Egyptian temple in 1990 and held by Christie's auction house in New York for the last two years arrived in Egypt on Friday, an airport official said.

Egypt's consul general in New York, Mohamoud Allam, brought the relief bearing pharaonic faces, which was valued at $5,000, back to Egypt and handed it over to a committee of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, an official said on condition of anonymity.

Last week, Allam said the relief would be reinserted into the wall of the temple at Behbeit el-Hagar, built by Nectanebo II, the last Egyptian king of the 30th dynasty.

The artifact has been held by Christie's since the Egyptian government told the auction house and government officials that it was stolen before an antiquities sale in June 2002.

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