Friday, June 22, 2007

Rosetta Stone requested for loan

The Art Newspaper

The Egyptian government has made a formal request to borrow the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum (BM). A letter was sent last month by Dr Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. . . . . Whether the loan is eventually granted is expected to depend on three main factors.
First, conservation, and whether the 1,680 pound stone could be at risk.

Secondly, if the Rosetta Stone can be lent in view of its iconic importance. It is probably the single most-visited object in the BM’s entire collection, attracting even more visitors than the Parthenon Marbles. The Rosetta Stone has been at the museum since 1802, and has only left the building twice—when it was evacuated during World War I and when it was lent to the Louvre for one month in 1972.

Finally, there will concerns over whether it would be prudent to lend to Cairo, because of possible pressure in Egypt to retain the stone or request its permanent return. After receiving advice on these points, the request will be considered by the BM trustees.

See the above page for more details.


Martin C said...

The first 2 points are valid, the 3rd is Nonsense, of course, if Egypt gave her word it is a loan then it will be honoured, and returned on time as promised.

Egypt must be trusted, after all, really these are her treasures, and it is us who are borrowing them.

Andie said...

If she didn't return the items, no-one would ever send anything to Egypt again, so it seems unlikely. The same doubts and concerns have been suggested by Zahi Hawass in connection with the Nefertiti bust loan request, and he has given verbal assurances that nothing could be further from the truth - he says that if the items or loaned, they will be returned.