Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

Culture

Egypt breaks ties with Louvre over 'stolen' artefacts

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-07

Egypt has suspended all cooperation with France's Louvre Museum over Pharaonic steles the museum bought, allegedly in the knowledge they were stolen. The Louvre later said that it was "open" to the idea of returning the works.

AFP - Egypt announced on Wednesday that it has cut all cooperation with France's Louvre Museum until it secures the return of "stolen" Pharaonic antiquities in the latest row involving the exhibits of a major European institution.

"We made the decision to end any cooperation with the Louvre until they return" the works, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told AFP.

He charged that the renowned Paris museum had bought the antiquities in 1980 even though its curators knew they were stolen.

"The purchase of stolen steles is a sign that some museums are prepared to encourage the destruction and theft of Egyptian antiquities," he said.

French sources said that the antiquities Egypt was demanding were decorative fragments from a tomb in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor.

The Louvre said it was open to the idea of returning the works but that the decision was not the museum's alone.

"The process for returning them has been engaged," a member of the Louvre's executive told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"But the decision is not for the museum to take because in order to return the works, we would need the agreement of the National Scientific Commission for the Museum Collections of France," he said.

The commission is due to meet by the end of the week to discuss removing the steles from the Louvre, where they are on display.

If the panel does decide to send them back to Egypt, the culture ministry must also give the green light.

Egypt's decision to suspend cooperation will affect conferences organised with the museum, as well as work carried out by the Louvre on the Pharaonic necropolis of Saqqara, south of the capital Cairo.

Hawass said it had been taken two months ago, implying that it had nothing to do with Egyptian unhappiness over the defeat of Culture Minister Faruq Hosni in the race to become the new director of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) last month.

A French source said the atmosphere created by Hosni's defeat "doesn't help," but insisted that "there is no real obstacle and a solution should be found soon."

A number of the world's most famous museums have collections of Egyptian antiquities, many of them acquired during British colonial rule.

But in recent years the Egyptian authorities have been increasingly vociferous in campaigning for the return of important works.

In 2007, French authorities returned to Egypt an ancient pharaoh's hairs that were nearly sold on the Internet by a French postal worker whose father had acquired them during the scientific examination of the royal mummy 30 years previously.

The case prompted Egyptian authorities to bar foreign scientists from examining royal mummies.

Egypt has also long demanded the return from Berlin of a bust of the legendary Queen Nefertiti that was discovered on the banks of the Nile by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt in December 1912.

The case mirrors that of the so-called Elgin Marbles, the decorative frieze that used to adorn the Parthenon in Athens whose return by the British Museum in London Greece has long demanded.

Date created : 2009-10-07

COMMENT(S)