Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Repatriation: Tetiky paintings return to Egypt fro Louvre in France

drhawass.com (Zahi Hawass)

With photo. For anyone who missed the story there's a good summary on Al Ahram Weekly by Nevine El-Aref explaining the background to the return of the paintings to Egypt (also with photo).

I am pleased that the five paintings from the tomb of Tetiky have been returned to Egypt from the Louvre Museum.

It was very interesting that when our President Hosni Mubarak visited Paris last week, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France placed one of the paintings in the hall for President Mubarak when he arrived, so that he could symbolically receive it. This gesture shows that France is willing to return stolen artefacts to Egypt.

I sent four crates from the Cairo Museum with Sayed Hassan, the assistant director of the Museum to receive the artefacts. They were well protected and travelled back to Egypt on EgyptAir to Cairo. Representatives of the SCA met them at the airport and transported them to the Cairo Museum, where they are now.

We are now looking into the possibility of replacing the five paintings in the tomb, TT 15. I think it would be very difficult to put them back in the tomb, because it was severely damaged when thieves stole the artefacts. I believe returning these artefacts to Egypt is a good example to show that any museum that buys stolen artefacts will have an immediate reaction against them. However, because of the return of these artefacts, the Louvre expedition at Saqqara will be allowed to resume.

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