Friday, March 21, 2008

Egypt threatens to withdraw objects from Swiss show

Reuters Africa

Egypt threatened on Thursday to remove its antiquities from a Swiss exhibition unless the gallery withdrew a parallel show of photographs that Cairo thought made Egypt look dirty.

Government antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said he faxed the ultimatum on Thursday to the Pierre Gianadda Foundation in the Swiss town of Martigny, where an exhibition entitled Offerings to the Gods of Egypt opened on Monday.

If the foundation did not comply, Hawass's Supreme Council of Antiquities would boycott the foundation and send no antiquities to any Swiss exhibition indefinitely, he told Reuters.

The Egyptian government does not control most of the ancient objects on show because they come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York but it can withdraw the four items it did contribute, he said.

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