Thursday, April 08, 2010

Egypt forum on looted antiquities calls for unity


With photos of the Nefertiti bust, Hawass in his familiar speech-with-mics mode and the Rosetta Stone.

Egyptian antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass on Wednesday opened an international conference on recovering ancient artefacts from abroad, saying countries must unite to recover their stolen heritage.

"We need to cooperate, we need a unification between our countries," Hawass told antiquities officials, deputy culture ministers and museum directors from 21 countries at the two-day Cairo meeting.

"Every country is fighting alone, every country suffered alone, especially Egypt," Hawass told the delegates from countries that have seen their national heritage looted over the centuries.

"We will battle together," he said, adding that "maybe we will not succeed in a lifetime (but) we have to open the subject."

Hawass, who heads Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), urged delegates to draw up lists of artefacts missing from their countries and displayed in museums abroad.

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