Egypt hosts stolen artefact meet

2010-04-06 22:51

kalahari.com

Cairo - Antiquities officials from around the world gather in Cairo on Wednesday to map out a strategy to recover ancient loot they say has been pillaged from their countries and displayed abroad.

The two-day conference will be attended by antiquities officials, deputy culture ministers and museum directors from 16 countries that have seen some of their national heritage stolen over the centuries.

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said the forum will discuss "the protection and restitution of cultural heritage".

Delegates will also draw up lists of artefacts missing from their countries and displayed in museums abroad, treasures they have been demanding be returned, the SCA said.

The conference will also call on the UN cultural body Unesco to amend a convention that bans export or ownership of stolen antiquities acquired after 1970.

The convention deals with the "means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property", but stipulates there will be no "retro-active" measure for artefacts acquired before the convention was signed in 1970.

Crusader Hawass

Over the years, Egypt's antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass has made the return of looted Egyptian artefacts the hallmark of his tenure and won many battles to bring home Pharaonic items and other ancient relics.

In March, Egypt said it retrieved from Britain some 25 000 ancient artefacts, including a stone axe dating back 200 000 years and pottery from the seventh millennium BC.

But Hawass is still eyeing two high profile objects: the Rosetta stone held by the British Museum for more than 200 years and the 3 400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin.

The iconic Rosetta stone, which dates back to 196 BC, was found by French forces in Egypt in 1799 and given to the British under a treaty two years later.

Its discovery led to a breakthrough in deciphering hieroglyphics, as it gives the same text in the ancient Egyptian script, plus the demotic Egyptian that was the common language and Greek, which was the language of officialdom.

Luxor and the Louvre

As for the Nefertiti bust, Germany has repeatedly rebuffed Egyptian claims to the rightful ownership of it and says the priceless sculpture was acquired legally nearly a century ago. Egypt says it was spirited out of the country.

Last year Egypt broke off relations with the Louvre Museum until France finally returns stolen steles chipped off a wall painting in the ancient tomb in Luxor's Valley of the Kings.

Greece, one of the countries attending the conference, will chair a session devoted to "problems facing the countries in their attempt to retrieve their antiquities," Hawass has said.

Athens has been locked in a 30-year antiquities "war" with London to retrieve the Elgin Marbles from the British Musuem.

Since becoming head of antiquities in 2002, Hawass has helped Egypt reclaim 31 000 relics from abroad. Last year he insisted that "what has been stolen from us must be returned".

Thirty countries were invited to attend but only 16 are sending representatives: Bolivia, China, Cyprus, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Iraq, Italy, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korean, Spain, Sri Lanka and Syria.

- SAPA
Read more on:    unesco  |  zahi hawass  |  egypt  |  archaeology
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Millwright

Western Cape
Higher Intelligence

Junior Accountant

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town Finance
R12 000 - R15 000 Per Month

Assistant Store Manager

Somerset West
Helderberg Personnel cc
R9 000 - R10 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to be self sufficient, right and in control today. There is a tendency to hold on too tightly to your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.