Friday, May 26, 2006

University returns artefacts (
"The University of Tubingen in Germany has agreed to return to Egypt five fragments of a relief removed in the last century from the Temple of Pharaoh Seti I, Culture Minister Faruq Hosni said. The fragments, which were cut out of the walls of the 19th dynasty (1307-1196 BC) pharaoh's tomb in the Valley of the Kings, are to be handed over next month, the minister said in a statement. The university made its decision 'voluntarily' and agreed to return the artefacts 'without any conditions,' said the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawas. The fragments are to be restored to their original resting place at the tomb, which is currently closed to the public because of the damage. Archaeologists say the tomb, discovered by Giovanni Battista Belzoni in 1817, used to be one of the most decorated in the Valley of the Kings, which also ensured that it was plundered more than any other in the area. Many artefacts removed from the site, sometimes referred to as Belzoni's tomb, are currently on display in museums around the world, including a sarcophagus in the Sir John Soane Museum in London."
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