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Archeology All aspects of archeology, including moral, ethical, and legal considerations.

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Old Apr 13, 2010, 11:18 AM   #1
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News Item: Archeologists with inflated senses of self-importance...

Notice how in the article below that the Egyptian archeologist uses intimidation to get "our (his)" artifacts back from international museums? I find the use of verbiage enlightening because it shows us that the push by Greece, Italy, and Egypt is fueled less by national pride than by inflated egos of a few who have deemed themselves cultural protectors (hoarders).


Egypt teams with 25 nations to push for return of antiquities Written by HADEEL AL-SHALCHI, Associated Press Writer Monday, 12 April 2010 10:42 The top-targeted antiquity that Egypt would like to repatriate is this bust of Nefertiti, which is housed in Berlin's Neuen Museum. Image taken Nov. 8, 2009 by Xenon 77, permission to reproduce granted through Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's antiquities chief has teamed up with 25 countries to press their campaigns to retrieve antiquities that were stolen and even those given as gifts, warning museums on Thursday that he would "make their lives miserable'' if they refused his demands.
Zahi Hawass announced the expanded campaign at a news conference with officials from the U.S., Greece and Italy. By joining forces with other nations, he aims to add weight to an escalating campaign that even saw Egypt temporarily severing ties with the Louvre last year.
"[FONT='times new roman',times]Greece was fighting alone, and Italy was fighting alone, now for the first time we are united. We will fight together,'' said Hawass. "But I will tell you: Some of us will make the life of those museums that have our artifacts miserable.''[/font]
Chief among the items Egypt wants back is the bust of Nefertiti, which is at Berlin's Egyptian Museum. Egypt says it was shipped out of the country in 1913 on the basis of fraudulent papers.
Egypt has also been seeking the Rosetta Stone, the slab of basalt with an inscription that was the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. It was taken out of Egypt in 1799 during French colonial rule and is now at the British Museum in London.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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In all fairness, there has been a great deal of underhanded trading in the past. I, myself, do not relish the fact that the ancient coin hobby is being included in these restrictions.
Unfortunately, the world commerce is blind sometimes to "values".
The Treasure Trove laws in England seem to function pretty well, but that country has the institutions to make it work.
Other poorer nations have to make due.
I suppose one has to be in their shoes to understand the desperation these individuals are resorting to preserve the remaining artifacts that are still in their county's soil.
Unfortunately, if a United Nations run "exchange" were organized to ensure proper means were used to bring artifacts to the market; would face great complex rules and regulations. Never mind corruption may still be in the ranks.
I did not know the answer myself.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 10:33 AM   #3
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That's the problem. From the article and their actions, Hawass and his ilk in Greece and Italy are not really focused on stemming the tide of new plundering and black market deals. Instead, they are intent on "reclaiming" objects that have resided in well-known public collections for decades (if not longer).

What does getting the Nefertiti bust or the Rosetta Stone back to Egypt have to do with the real problem? NOTHING.

This is all about ego and intimidation so Hawass and his ilk can claim "victories" for their museums. Hawass proved this when he denied archeological permits for French researchers in the field unless the Louvre returned some centuries old found tomb fragments. He's shown that his fervor for these old museum trophies supercedes his devotion to the field of archeology.

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