The following is an English translation of a letter from Mr. Henri Loyrette to Mr. Michel Mansoor. A copy of the original can be found here

Ministry Of Culture And Communication - LOUVRE

Office of the President/Director

Ref: DFJ/Acq/012314

Object: statuette F.27215

Egyptian Department of Antiquities

Dear Sir,

On October 31, you were kind to send me a letter regarding a Amarna statuette in the Louvre collection which for several years was the subject of an exchange of correspondence with your relative Mr . Alfred Mansoor.

As you probably know, this statuette had been offered in 1981 by the antiquarian Michel A. Mansoor in honor of Canon Etienne Drioton, and registered in the inventory of the French public collection of the department of Egyptian Antiquities at the Louvre museum, according to the procedure of the Administration regulations.

As I had pointed out to Mr. Alfred Mansoor, at no time during the acceptance of this generous gift by the French museums was the gift accompanied by an obligation that it had to be on permanent or temporary exhibit, that if such had been the case, it would have most certainly compelled the Artistic Council of the National Museums to refuse its entry in our collections

It is then why, with a perfect desire of transparency in answering the questions of Mr. Alfred Mansour that the department of Egyptian Antiquities and myself have pointed out to him the reasons why exhibiting the statue can not be considered in our museum collections.

As I tried to explain to Mr. Alfred Mansoor, my explanation in this case is not likely to justify a revision of the conditions of acceptance of the gift.

In addition, the status of inalienability of French public collections is very different from the one in force in the United States where the circulation of works between private and public spheres is less constrained, and expressly excludes any possibility of downgrading object offered as gift or bequest.

This legal provision makes it impossible not only to not return the statuette to your family as requested by Mr. Alfred Mansoor, but also as a repurchase from the Louvre by you that you have generously offered in your letter of October 31.

You understand therefore, that I can not give a positive response to your recent offer.

Kindly accept, Dear Sir, my distinguished salutations and highest consideration.

Signed Henri Loyrette


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The Saga of the Louvre Princess