The youth took the statue home and his uncle, Sabri Abdelrahman, a professor at the
American University in Cairo, recognised the piece and returned it to museum officials, said Hawass.
"The statue is one of the most beautiful statues of Akhenaten, which highlights the skill of Egyptian artists at the time," said Egyptian Museum director Tarek al-Awadi.
The statue is being restored before going back on display in the museum. Last year, Akhenaten was determined - via DNA - to be the father of King Tutankhamun.
The museum was looted and several antiquities were stolen last month, including statues of King Tutankhamun and Pharoah Akhenaten.