Showing results 85 - 88 of 88 for the tag: Zahi Hawass.

October 18, 2008

What can be learnt from the Egyptian approach to restitution

Posted at 2:05 pm in Similar cases

Zahi Hawass has championed the cause of cultural property restitution in Egypt in recent years. What can other countries learn from his approach?


Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Friday, 17 October 2008

We may not all agree with Zahi Hawass in his style and manner of approach to the issue of restitution of stolen or looted artefacts but there is no denying that the famous Egyptologist, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, has been extremely effective in his tasks and knows his job. This is no mean feat in a period where some of those having the fate of millions in their hands do not seem to have mastered their jobs.
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October 12, 2008

The British Museum’s claims to the Rosetta Stone

Posted at 6:22 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Jonathan Downs, the author of Discovery at Rosetta, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, has kindly sent me the text of the concluding chapter of this book. This chapter looks at the case for the return of the Rosetta Stone to Egypt – both its legality & the arguments surrounding it. The case for the restitution of the Rosetta Stone has a lot of parallels with the Parthenon Marbles – their acquisitions were roughly contemporaneous, they both came from outposts of what was at that time the Ottoman Empire, They both ended up in the British Museum.

The author has also offered to respond to any queries that people make in the comments on this message.

Jonathan Downs (by email)

The following is an extract from Discovery at Rosetta (by Jonathan Downs, Constable, 2008, pp.210-215) outlining the current status of the Rosetta Stone, the facts governing its legal ownership and its possible repatriation to Egypt:


Despite the Rosetta Stone’s public profile, historically its status as an exhibit in the British Museum has not been nearly as contested as that of the ‘Elgin’ or Parthenon Marbles. To many it is immediately recognizable and more memorable than the sculptures that were formerly part of the Athenian Acropolis. This is understandable; until the end of the 1990s the Rosetta Stone rested on an angled frame close to the entrance of the museum – unavoidable, it was one of the first objects to be encountered, and crowds of visitors have gathered round it for the past two hundred years. Cleaned by conservators, it now occupies an equally prominent position in the centre of the Egypt collection by the Great Court entrance, upright within a protective case, still one of the most famous objects in the world. Before the arrival of the antiquities from Egypt in 1802, the British Museum contained little grand sculpture, its halls filled chiefly with smaller curiosities. The acquisition of the Rosetta Stone and the cargo from the Alexandria victory was an important step in the development of the institution.
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July 12, 2008

Following the Egyptian example for recovery of looted artefacts

Posted at 10:00 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Of all the African countries, Egypt has been by far the most successful in recovering their looted artefacts (three thousand in the last three years) from abroad. By studying the way in which they have operated, it is possible for other nations to see more clearly how their own efforts in this area could be re-structured to make them more successful. It is worth bearing in mind though that whilst Egypt has had many successes, it still hasn’t had any luck in securing even short term loans of some of its most treasured artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone & the bust of Nefertiti.


Recovering stolen cultural objects – the Egyptian example
Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Friday, 11 July 2008

From the information we have so far at our disposal, it seems the Egyptians are the most advanced among the Africans when it comes to the question of recovery of stolen or illegally exported cultural items. They seem in any case to be the best organized and the most active in pursuing this objective no matter the obstacles.

And the obstacles here are indeed great. One must contest with the long entrenched European ideology that Western Europe has a God-given right and indeed duty to collect and supervise all the cultural achievements of mankind. The concrete expression of this ideology is found in the ideology of the defendants of the so-called “universal museum”. There are also the large investments in antiquities and the powerful illicit trade in 3000 artefacts antiquities.
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July 25, 2003

Egypt calls for British Museum to return Rosetta Stone

Posted at 9:30 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Egypt’s Zahi Hawass has requested that the British Museum returns the Rosetta Stone.

BBC News

Last Updated: Monday, 21 July, 2003, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Egypt calls for return of Rosetta Stone

Egyptian authorities are calling for the British Museum to return the 2,000-year-old Rosetta Stone to Cairo.

The artefact is one of the British Museum’s most prize pieces, helping to attract millions of visitors each year.
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