- "Paragraphs [of the amended complaint] discuss the 'illicit antiquities market' that purportedly exists - and the practice of 'laundering' the provenance of an item - but [federal prosecutors] allege no connection between this information and the Mask at issue."
- "The Government’s interpretation of [Egyptian patrimony] Law No. 215 and its application to the present case is inaccurate and, worse, absolutely counter to established United States case law. Indeed, Article 5 of Law No. 215 itself specifically provided for the Egyptian government to 'exchange moveable antiquities found in duplicate' with museums and private owners, and Article 22 of Law No. 215 recognizes private ownership of antiquities sold or gifted by the Egyptian government, a provision the Government covers with the conclusory statement that '[t]he Mask was not given to the discoverer as partage.'"
- The Government "offers a) that the importers of the Mask were convicted of export violations years after the Mask was imported and that - presumably because of this - they 'knew or were willfully blind to the fact that Egypt was the true owner of the Mask.' In raising the subsequent alleged conduct of the owners of the company that sold the Mask to the Appellee Museum, the Government presumably and desperately seeks to defame the parties closest to the Appellee Museum in the chain of purchase, albeit with conduct that has no relation whatsoever to this case and occurred years after the purchase of the Mask."
- "[T]he Government discusses asserted defects with the Appellee Museum’s provenance investigation prior to purchasing the Mask, suggesting that it was 'pro forma' and incomplete, leading to the conclusion that 'at the time it imported the Mask . . . the Museum either knew or was willfully blind to the fact that the Mask had been stolen from Egypt.' Again, these statements contain no factual information regarding the alleged theft or stolen nature of the Mask. These conclusory statements are included to undermine the suggestion that the Appellee Museum acted in good faith or was an innocent owner of the Mask."
[UPDATE August 12, 2013: The appeals court is expected to schedule oral arguments in the case now that the government has filed a reply brief as of August 8, 2013. The reply brief reiterates the government's argument that the lower district court abused its discretion by not allowing federal prosecutors to file an amended verified complaint.]