Our artifacts are being stolen and we need to act – archaeologist

Egyptian archaeologist Dr Zahi Hawass released a plea on Monday to rescue Egyptian antiquities, declaring that the actions taken by the British Museum are a crime against the entire world. He emphasized that the theft of antiquities from a museum in this manner is a major catastrophe, and there should be a popular demand that this museum is not worthy of exhibiting Egyptian antiquities.

Hawass called on UNESCO and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to convene an international conference to retrieve Egyptian antiquities from the British Museum, stating that it is not trustworthy with these artifacts.

Hawass’s statements came in response to the remarks made by the Director of the British Museum, George Osborne, admitting to the theft of 2,000 pieces from the museum, and acknowledging that only a few of them have been recovered. The stolen items included gold jewellery and precious stones dating from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD.

Furthermore, Hawass added that “the presence of the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum is a grave mistake, as this stone is an icon of Egyptian antiquities and its place should be in the Grand Egyptian Museum in Egypt.” He emphasized that Egypt owns its antiquities, even if they are found in museums in America, Europe, or anywhere else in the world. It is essential to preserve these artifacts from theft or improper restoration.

Hawass commented during a television interview, “Our antiquities are being stolen, and we must take action.” He continued, “If we strongly demand our rights, we will retrieve our antiquities from the British Museum, as there is a significant and deliberate theft of Egyptian artifacts.”

The President of the Trustees of the British Museum, George Osborne, stated that someone from within the museum is responsible for that theft, confirming that the museum does not possess records covering all the archaeological pieces within it.

George Osborne affirmed in an interview with the BBC that the museum’s reputation has been tarnished due to its mishandling of thefts, leading to the resignation of its director and raising questions about security and leadership. He stated that the stolen archaeological pieces include gold jewellery, precious stones, and artifacts dating back up to 3500 years.

Osborne added, “We believe that we have been victims of theft for a long period of time, and frankly, more could have been done to prevent it. But I promise you this: we will stop this chaos.”

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