France Returning Stolen Relics After Egypt Threatens The Louvre

October 9, 2009

France (ChattahBox) – France’s Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand has agreed to return several stolen artifacts from the Louvre after Egypt threatened to cut all ties with Paris, and disrupt several excavations and projects outside of Cairo.

The move comes after Egyptian officials complained that the Louvre has been hosting five painted wall fragments, four bought in 2000, and one bought in 2003, that had been stolen from tombs in the late 80’s.

While Louvre staff deny any knowledge as to the the stolen nature of the relics, Egyptian Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass disagrees, arguing that they were obviously not gained by honest means.

“The purchase of stolen steles is a sign that some museums are prepared to encourage the destruction and theft of Egyptian antiquities.”

After threats to cut ties with Paris came in from Egypt, which would have stalled work on the Pharaonic necropolis of Saqqara, a commission was immediately put together to investigate.

Within two days the relics had been authorized for return.

Culture Minister Faruq Hosni has denied accusations that the sudden call against the Louvre had anything to do with losing his bid to head the UN culture agency, Paris-based UNESCO.

Source


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