Thursday, January 6, 2011

Egypt asks for treasures back

Zahi Hawass, director of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, recently announced that it will convene a special meeting to consider the necessary formalities to officially request the return of two parts.
Nefertiti's bust, with an average age of 3,400 years was discovered in 1912 in the southern German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt Egypt. Egypt has demanded his return, but without success since 1930.
Zahi Hawass said that, after being discovered, the statue was covered with clay to go unnoticed and was sent on a boat in Germany.
According to Hawass, Ludwig Borchardt lied when he wrote in the shipping documents that the bust was made of gypsum and belonged to a royal princess, "knowing full well that it was a limestone statue of Queen Nefertiti."
"This confirms our information that the statue has left Egypt in an unethical manner, as evidence of fraud and deception on the part of Germany in that period," said Zahi Hawass. Ludwig Borchardt hid the fact that the statue for 10 years before the public is to expose further evidence of illegal removal of the bust of Egypt, Hawass said.
Friederike Seyfried, director of the Museum and the Collection of Egyptian papyri from the Neues Museum in Berlin, argues that the purchase was done legally, in 1913, focusing on the dangers involving the movement of a sculpture "fragile." In addition, were presented documents proving the legal removal of the statue in the country of origin. The bust was first exhibited publicly in 1924, before being transferred to the Egyptian Museum in West Berlin.
Rosetta Stone, quarrel with Britain
In addition to the bust of Nefertiti, Egypt requested and return the famous Rosetta Stone that allowed deciphering hieroglyphics, exposed over 200 years at the British Museum in London.
Rosetta Stone is an Egyptian stele dating from 195 BC, the reign of Ptolemy V. Stone, black granite, with a rectangular shape, has three inscriptions in three different scripts - hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek. Using the markings on the artifact, Jean-François Champollion was able to identify the method of translation of hieroglyphic writing. The stone was discovered in 1799 in the Egyptian city of Rosetta, situated in the Nile Delta during the French expedition led by General Napoleon Bonaparte. The importance of this star was observed immediately, specifying that the Greek version is about the same text in all three scripts. Between 1799 and 1801 was preserved and studied in Cairo, then realizing his first child. In 1801, the withdrawal of the French army, was detained by British troops, and in 1802, was brought to England, then exposed to the British Museum.
"It belongs to Egypt, she should return to Egypt, said Zahi Hawass, considering" inaccurate "claim that Rosetta Stone is part of world heritage.
"It is inaccurate, it is only part of Egyptian culture. We have offered it as a short-term but now need to make up this gift, "said Zahi Hawass, who demanded to be repaid artifact. The conflict between the two institutions started by the refusal of the British Museum to borrow artifacts Egyptian officials. British museums have raised uncertainty in Cairo, which annoyed the Director of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities.
He said that he abandoned the idea of obtaining a temporary loan, but has responded harshly: "We are not pirates of the Caribbean. We are a civilized country. If you sign a contract with the British Museum, we will return. We decided, finally, not to ask the Rosetta Stone loan, but to ask her permanent return of Egypt. Because it is a "symbol" of Egyptian identity. " Roy Clare, one of the famous London museum directors, replied that that star is "a world symbol."
Zahi Hawass said that 12 countries will gather next year in Cairo (Egypt), to compile a "wish list" that will contain objects scattered throughout the world which will demand restitution by the official.

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