Monday, April 19, 2010

More re new law on the illegal antiquities trade

Egypt Today (Nadine El Sayed)

Egypt owns two thirds of the world’s monuments.” So says the government’s state information service. It doesn’t go into detail. But when you consider the abundance of national icons — the Pyramids, the Sphinx, Abu Simbel, the Valley of the Kings — that draw thousands of visitors every year, the richness of the country’s past can be overwhelming.

It is precisely this illustrious history, in the form of exquisite relics, excavated ruins and secrets yet to be unearthed beneath the sands, that is the subject of a new amendment to the antiquities law that has caused much debate in the People’s Assembly (PA).

Approved early last month after a year of discussion in Parliament, law 117/1983 is being amended in a bid to preserve the nation’s documented archeological heritage and prevent the expatriation of any future discoveries.

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