Monday, January 11, 2010

Repatriation: More re Rosetta

Daily Times, Pakistan

Egypt will host a conference in April for countries demanding the return of their antiquities, stolen but on display in museums round the world, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities said. The conference will “discuss the question of returning stolen antiquities,” the council said in a statement. It gave no dates for the three-day conference. Thirty countries, including Greece, Mexico, Peru, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia and China, will participate in the Cairo gathering, said Egypt’s antiquities director Zahi Hawass, who has made the return of looted Egyptian artefacts the hallmark of his tenure. “Officials from these countries will discuss taking action internationally to support efforts to return stolen antiquities to their countries of origin... and exhibited in certain museums and showrooms around the world,” Hawass said. The conference aims to work out “specific recommendations” and draw up a list of the antiquities claimed by each participating country. It will also review international laws on the subject, for their “reconsideration” and “to protect the rights of the countries to recover their cultural and archaeological property,” Hawass added.

1 comment:

bert.leyns said...

Although I can understand that countries like Egypt and Greece want several "stolen" items to be returned to them, I am reluctant to support their claim, for many of these items were taken out of the country at a time where they had no interest for their own historial past, or were simply given away by former leaders (e.g. King Farouk)in exchange for personal benefit. Moreover, if all museums around the world are to return so-called stolen or illegally shipped artefacts, than we turn those museums, in fact degrade them, to local heritage collections, interesting maybe for the locals, but not so much any more for foreigners. An which is more, not everybody has the financial means to go abroad and see the items in question in situ.
History always moves forward, therefore it is of no use to try and turn back !