Zahi Hawass has never exactly been afraid of making enemies. Egypt’s 63-year-old antiquities chief (a man who cheerfully refers to himself as “The Pharoah”) has, over the years conducted public feuds with fellow Egyptologists, prominent international museums and a host of alternative archeologists who he cheerfully dismisses as “pyramidiots.”
Hawass’ latest target isn’t exactly new; for years he has railed against foreign museums holding onto treasured Egyptian artifacts that he believes should be returned home. At the top of this list is the Rosetta Stone, currently housed in the British Museum in London.
“I believe that unique artifacts and masterpieces should not be away from their mother countries,” Hawass said in an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm. “Even if some of the artifacts left legally, still I want them back!”