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Author Topic: Egypt demands return of stolen artifacts
Hephaestion
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Babbler # 4795

posted 18 July 2005 09:23 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
(Cairo) Egypt demanded that institutions in Britain and Belgium return two pharaonic reliefs it says were chipped off tombs and stolen 30 years ago, threatening Sunday to end their archeological work here if they refuse.

The 4,400-year-old reliefs, taken from two tombs uncovered in 1965, are currently at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Britain and the Catholic University of Brussels. A request has been sent to both seeking their return, Culture Minister Farouq Hosni said in a statement.

The demand was the latest in a series of attempts by Egypt to recover ancient treasures that were taken out of the country, either through theft or what the Egyptians have termed "imperialism." On Wednesday, Egypt said it had approached
UNESCO to intervene on its behalf to lobby for the return of the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, the bust of Nefertiti at Berlin's Egyptian Museum and three other artifacts.


[ 18 July 2005: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 18 July 2005 09:38 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmmm. This is a really difficult question. I was lucky enough to visit the British Museum earlier this year, and as awestruck as I was by the richness of the collection, I was just as staggered by the scale of colonial brutality it represented.

I was there with a Greek Australian friend who had a good deal to say about the theft from Greece of the so-called Elgin Marbles... but then conceded that if they hadn't been taken by Lord E then they would probably have been whipped off as building material for something else long ago.

The bombing of Baghdad illustrated, too, the perils of keeping a collection all in one place. Distributing artifacts around the world helps to ensure their safety. But then there's the question of human remains and "sacred" objects... and even the question of who's to make those judgements. It's a curly one.

Perhaps the ideal solution would be for artifacts to be offered for return, and the country of origin then negotiate for some of them to be redistributed. Fat chance though, eh?

[typo]

[ 18 July 2005: Message edited by: Suzette ]


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 18 July 2005 03:40 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And I think the Chinese would appreciate Taiwan returning Peking palace treasures stolen by Chiang kai Shek. That is if they weren't pawned in order to fund the contras or condoms or some other right wing terrorist group.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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posted 19 July 2005 05:22 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To a lesser extent it's also a question of controlling research. Controlling the finds from sites means you control who has access to them, and so who can study them and publish papers or monographs about them. That has far-ranging career impacts. You can bet the British Museum folks also don't want to lose research control over their extensive collections by repatriating them, even if on the surface it's the 'right' thing to do.
From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 19 July 2005 05:53 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Only "minor" pieces, but still...

quote:
Melbourne hands back stolen Egyptian artefacts

Stolen Egyptian artefacts are returning home after being recovered in Melbourne.

The items, which are more than 2,000 years old, include several statuettes, a bronze axe head, a ceramic bowl and funeral amulets dating back to 660 BC.

They were illegally removed from Egyptian museums and traced to Victoria where they were seized this year.

At a function at Parliament House today, the Egyptian ambassador said that as a thank-you gesture, an exhibition of ancient artefacts may come to Australia.

The exhibition is likely to include the recovered items


-- from ABC News online

But is the Rosetta Stone likely to follow? I wouldn't suggest hanging by the neck waiting.


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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Babbler # 1962

posted 19 July 2005 06:39 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, here we have the difference between illegally-obtained artifacts in the modern day, and artifacts obtained before there were such laws.
From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
John_D
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posted 19 July 2005 11:46 AM      Profile for John_D     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Suzette - your point about visiting the British Museum shows one of the reasons this should be considered an ongoing theft. Holding onto another nation's artifacts is a damn good way to divert tourists and their money who would have gone to that country to your facility.
From: Workin' 9 to 2 in the 902. | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged

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