Egypt asks for return of its artworks

Aug. 2, 2003 at 1:18 PM

CAIRO, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Egypt is set to mark the 100th birthday of its Cairo museum but not before getting some antiquities it says were stolen from the country.

The anniversary exhibition is set for next year and museum authorities are demanding the ancient Rosetta Stone nestled in the British Museum and a bust of Nefertiti in Germany be returned, the BBC reported.

Zahi Hawass, general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the items were stolen from Egypt. He has been pressing the British Museum to lend the 2,000-year-old Rosetta Stone to his museum.

But a British Museum spokesman told the BBC that to "loan such pieces would result in our disappointing the 5 million or so visitors who come to the museum every year."

Hawass also has renewed calls for Germany to return the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti which a German archaeologist took to Germany in the early 1900s.

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