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A Mummified Move

Moving unusual objects can pose unique challenges. Even after more than 100 years in the professional moving industry, at Hilldrup, we still manage to come across a few “moving pieces” that can seem bizarre. Perhaps one of the most unique items a Hilldrup Logistics customer has requested help moving was not only unusual but priceless. We had to move an estimated 3,000-year-old sarcophagus from Miami, Florida to Washington, D.C.

Devoid of its original contents, the sarcophagus had been stolen years before, and had since been trafficked throughout the international art world. The artifact was intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Miami International Airport and initially scrutinized for agricultural concerns.  A two-year investigation found that the sarcophagus was not legally exported from Egypt, and so it was seized for return.

When the call came for this move, Hilldrup responded with a fine arts team of four people who worked from beginning to end to include transportation. Professionals from the National Geographic Society, U.S. government and Egyptian government were on standby to make sure everything went smoothly. To say the least, the sarcophagus required special moving conditions, such as climate controlled transportation, which Hilldrup provided.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement returned the ancient funerary piece to Egypt. The transfer of custody took place at a special ceremony at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

Whether we are moving someone’s personal art collection, a 3,000 year-old sarcophagus or a museum in its entirety, we aim to satisfying our customers, no matter how great – or unusual – the challenge.