Saturday, April 29, 2006

Repatriation - and other SCA policies
An article about Zahi Hawass and his moves to repatriate important Egyptological artefacts: "Hawass’s list of national icons starts with the Nefertiti bust in Berlin and the Rosetta stone (ca. 200 b.c.) in the British Museum in London. Both of these objects left Egypt a long time ago, the Rosetta stone in the 1820s and the Nefertiti bust in 1912. From the Louvre, Hawass wants the Dendera zodiac (50 b.c.), a map of the heavens that was sawed and blasted out of the ceiling of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera by the agent of a French collector in 1821. By modern standards the Rosetta stone and the zodiac were looted, although the term wouldn’t have made sense to the French and British agents who swarmed over Egypt in the early 19th century in a competitive quest for treasure—nor to most Egyptians. . . . Hawass is also encouraging other countries to demand the repatriation of their own national icons. He is planning a conference in Cairo next year of nations that have lost artifacts of their heritage."

There is also a comment towards the end of the article about plans to introduce, as from next year, a reservation system for tourists visiting the Valley of the Kings, in a bid to offer some protection for the tombs. The article also touches on the SCA's policies for issuing permits for excavation. See the above page on the Art News Online website for the complete article.

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