Egypt Cuts Ties with Louvre Over Artifact Return
Hi all. I've been away building TheWrap for most of this year. "Loot" is now out in paperback, I"m delighted to tell you. Wanted to let you know I"ll be appearing in San Francisco later this month to speak about the book at the Fall Antiquities Fair. Details to follow.
This news comes courtesy of the AP -- our friend Zahi Hawass in Egypt has decided to make good on his many threats to Western museums over the years. He has cut ties with the Louvre - and cancelled an upcoming talk in Egypt by respected French Egyptologist Christian Ziegler - because the French museum will not return four reliefs from Luxor.
There is an amusing scene with Ziegler in 'Loot,' who at the time still headed the Egyptian Department at the Louvre. And Hawass has amusing things to say about her in the book.
Egypt cuts ties with France's Louvre museum
By PAUL SCHEMM
Associated Press Writer
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's antiquities department has severed its ties
with France's Louvre museum because it has refused to return what
are described as stolen artifacts, an official statement declared
The ruling means that no archeological expeditions connected to
the France's premier museum will be allowed to work in Egypt.
Already a lecture in Egypt by a former Louvre curator has been
"The Louvre Museum refused to return four archeological reliefs
to Egypt that were stolen during the 1980s from the tomb of the
noble Tetaki," near the famed temple city of Luxor, the statement
said, quoting antiquities head Zahi Hawass.
Christiane Ziegler, the former director of the Louvre's
Egyptology department, acquired the four reliefs last year and
displayed them, said the statement. She will now not be allowed to
give a scheduled lecture in Egypt.
Upon taking the helm of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities
in 2002, Hawass made recovering stolen Egyptian antiquities a
He issued a regulation, that he says was agreed to by all major
international museums including the Louvre, banning the acquiring
or display of stolen antiquities.
Hawass has made several high profile requests from the world's
museum for the return of Egyptian artifacts.
At the top of Hawass' request list are the bust of Nefertiti --
wife of the famed monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenaten -- and the Rosetta
Stone, a basalt slab with an inscription that was the key to
deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. The bust is in Berlin's
Egyptian Museum; the Rosetta Stone is in the British Museum in
Hawass said Egypt also was seeking "unique artifacts" from at
least 10 museums around the world, including the Louvre in Paris
and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
Hawass also has written to request the bust of Anchhaf -- the
builder of the Chephren Pyramid -- from the Museum of Fine Arts in
Boston, and the statue of Hemiunu -- nephew of the Pharaoh Khufu,
builder of the largest pyramid -- from Germany's Roemer-Pelizaeu
Hawass long has sought items taken from Egypt, recently
succeeding in winning the return from France of hair stolen from
the mummy of Ramses II.