A German has handed in a package containing part of a Pharaonic carving to Egypt's embassy in Berlin, with a note saying his stepfather had suffered a "curse of the Pharaohs" for stealing it, Egypt said on Wednesday.
The note said the man felt obliged to return the carving to make amends for his late stepfather and enable his soul to rest in peace, Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities said.
The stepfather had stolen the piece along with other carvings while on a visit to Egypt in 2004 and on his return to Germany suffered paralysis, nausea, unexplained fevers and cancer before dying recently, the anonymous man said in the note.
The Egyptian embassy in Berlin had sent the fragment back to Egypt by diplomatic pouch and it had been handed over to the Supreme Council for Antiquities, where a committee of experts was trying to ascertain its authenticity, the statement said.
The belief in a curse that strikes down anyone who disturbs the tombs or mummies of ancient Egypt's Pharaohs has been around since the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922 and the subsequent death of the excavation's financier Lord Carnarvon.