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 June 23, 2008 6:02 PM

is anyone home?

I'm back after a long time away from the computer.

My feeling is that when artifacts are asked to be returned to the original country they were taken from, they should be.  The museum of the country should nowdays take pride in their findings.

This way people may see different artifacts in many different museums that take their pieces around the world to the museum for other people to view.
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 February 18, 2008 8:37 AM

I have read that many of the most important artifacts were stolen from Egypt during occupations by various European conquerors.  Tomb robbers have also sold many artifacts on the black market over the past few thousand years, and I am sure every Egyptian government in existance during those times would have considered such acts illegal.  Now we live in a bit more civilized era, and thus it is important for these artifacts to be returned to the Egyptian government.  To understand the reason why, Americans could imagine how it would seem very disturbing to know that Egypt had stolen the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights hundreds of years ago, and now refuse to return them to the U.S. government. 

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lISTEN!!! January 31, 2008 6:47 AM

LISTEN TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING SHOULD EGYPTIAN ARTIFACTS BE RETURNED BACK TO EGYPT. IT WAS STOLEN FRON EGYPT IN THE FIRST PLACE. OF COURSE EGYPTIAN'S ARTIFACTS SHOULD BE RETURNED BACK TO THEM. IF I STOLE SOMETHING FORM YOU, WOULDN'T YOU WANT IT BACK. YOU ARE LUCKY THAT EGYPT IS ASKING INSTEAD OF TAKING, BECAUSE I GUARANTEE IF I STOLE SOMETHING FROM YOU, YOU WOULD DEMAND AND OR TAKE IT BACK. RETURN EGYPTIAN ARTIFACTS BACK TO EGYPT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Manal April 30, 2006 8:58 AM

I think there is some truth to your words.
Of course all those artifacts work as a advertisement and promotes tourism and interest to Egypt.
And I agree that some of the artifacts otherwise would not see the light of day, being placed in some storage.
But, as a matter of National pride - I totaly understand Dr. Hawass.
Those monuments and statues that define the milestones of national history they have to be available for people of Egypt.

I don't know, perhaps there should be some compromise, maybe the artifacts in questions could be provisionaly loaned to the museums for period of time and then returned or brought back for expositions.
Or perhaps there should be an International agency that would oversee the antiquities and make sure they get appropriate attention.
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 April 30, 2006 8:05 AM

Hi Alex,

Thanks for posting this .. I personally, don't think that all artifacts need to be returned to Egypt .. I don't know .. think of my as not really patriotic towards my country if you would .. but in my opinion .. if some artifacts can be displayed and travel from country to country so people can enjoy seeing them then that is a great accomplishement and makes me proud as an Egyptian to know that our enheritence is being appreciated by other cultures and other nations etc ..

What I would may be think should be the best think for Egypt's economy is that we get some kind of reimbersement from these artifacts being either exhebited/traveling/or either being bought to stay at a certain museum in a certain country .. but to say that everything should return to Egypt .. when we know that there are millions and millions of artifacts found everyday and to this date .. and we don't have enough storage areas for them plus even if we do, sometimes they don't get exhibited in appropriate fashions .. then I think its a waiste to keep holding on to every single artifact and saying its Egypts posetion ..

I don't know that's how I think .. may be I am wrong .. but that's how I feel .. and I do appreciate Dr. Hawas concern etc .. but he's one in millions of Egyptians that care about these great artifacts .. I worked at a gallery way back when I lived in Egypt and I think it's not going to do us any good to keep everything in storage rooms ..

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Do you think Egyptian Artifacts have to be returned to Egypt ? April 29, 2006 8:05 AM

http://www.artnewsonline.com/currentarticle.cfm?art_id=2039

".....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.

The Nefertiti bust was found by German archeologists, but it was covered with a layer of grime—intentionally, according to some—that hid its beauty and excellent condition from the director of the service, the Frenchman Pierre Lacau, who gave permission for it to leave the country.

Hawass also wants to repatriate two of the greatest masterpieces of the Old Kingdom, both of which left Egypt legally: the bust of the vizier Ankh-haf (2590–2570 b.c.), in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the imposing statue of Hemiunu (ca. 2540 b.c.), architect of the Great Pyramid at Giza, in the Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim, Germany. The bust of Ankh-haf has been called the finest portrait of the Old Kingdom and one of the supreme creations of Egyptian art.

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, including, he says, “China, Greece, Italy, Syria, Jordan, Mexico, Sudan. Every country will say what are the unique pieces that have left the country and should come back. And every country will list two, three, four pieces, and we will have an international list and make a campaign to push that list.” He expects to reach agreements with the museums that house the objects through negotiation, not threats.

Where loot is concerned, however, Hawass threatens. “If any museum has stolen artifacts and is not willing to return them to us,” he says, his voice rising, “I will stop them from working in Egypt. They don’t deserve to be in Egypt.” Hawass believes that the theft of artifacts will end if museums stop buying stolen objects. “People destroy and steal because they know there is a market,” he says. “If museums will announce they are not buying stolen artifacts, no one will go and destroy a tomb or open a magazine [depot] by force.”

Hawass recently demanded the return of a 3,200-year-old mummy mask from the St. Louis Art Museum, claiming that it was stolen from a storeroom in Egypt in the early 1990s.

In a statement, director Brent R. Benjamin said that the museum “pursued extensive research and made appropriate inquiries regarding provenance in advance of its 1998 acquisition of the mummy mask. We are not aware of any specific or credible information suggesting that the museum’s ownership of the work is illegal. Should additional information be forthcoming, the museum would evaluate it thoroughly and proceed accordingly. The museum has great respect for Dr. Hawass and the Supreme Council of Antiquities and takes seriously any suggestion that it illegally or improperly possesses any object in its collection. We will review any and all documentation provided by the ministry of culture in connection with this allegation. We look forward to working with Dr. Hawass toward a fair and amicable resolution of this matter.”

The mask is only one of thousands of objects Hawass is after. He seeks “anything stolen from Egypt after 1972,” when the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property went into effect, and every piece recorded in a site register book, even if it was stolen before 1972.

Hawass has harsh words for the St. Louis museum. “How can this museum bring children to visit and tell them that this [mask] is taken out illegally from an excavation?” he asks. For the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on the other hand, he has nothing but praise. The Met, he says, has returned about 300 objects it determined were stolen, without his even asking for them—the only museum in the world that has done this. ...."
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