Monday, April 19, 2010

Akhenaten's toe returned to Egypt

Middle East Online

The toe of King Akhenaton, which was stolen in 1907 during an examination of the pharaoh's bones, was returned during a signing ceremony for an agreement with Switzerland over the return of ancient artefacts, the council said.

"The toe is now back in Egypt and will be displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo," said the statement, which confirmed that it was from the skeleton of the pharaoh, which had been found in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

The toe's movements since 1907 were not disclosed.

Frank Ruehli, a scientist at the University of Zurich and a specialist in mummies, obtained it "thanks to his personal contacts" in "another European country," a diplomat said without elaborating.

The return was thanks to the Ruehli's "private initiative" and not carried out by the Swiss government, which is the 16th country to sign the accord on stolen antiquities, the diplomat added.

Discovery News (Rossella Lorenzi)

The terminal phalanx of his great toe, probably from the left foot, was taken away in 1968, when the Department of Antiquities in Cairo, under the supervision of the then director, handed it over to the late Professor Ronald Harrison of Liverpool University.

“Since then, the specimen has been held securely in my laboratory, but I decided it had to ‘go home,’ particularly since very few people knew where it was,” Robert Connolly senior lecturer in physical anthropology from the University of Liverpool's Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, told Discovery News. . . .

The toe has been returned safely to Egypt by Swiss anatomist and paleopathologist Frank Rühli, who personally handed it over to Dr. Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, during a signing ceremony for an agreement with Switzerland over the return of ancient artifacts.


Stuart Tyler said...

Akhenaten's Foot, eh.

Let's hope that it's not Smenkhare's toe, or Zahi and his band of Merry Men may have a bad case of foot in mouth!

Ben Morales-Correa said...

I agree. It's not yet certain that KV55 is Akhenaten.