Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Louvre Suspension

Five fragments of wall paintings in the Louvre were stolen from an Egyptian tomb in 1980 in an area of the Theban necropolis known as "the tombs of the nobles". The Supreme Council of Antiquities informed the Louvre's director Henri Loyrette who apparently told Dr. Hawass nearly two years ago that they would be returned to Egypt.

This has not happened and today Dr. Zahi has now suspended the Louvre's archaeological missions in Egypt. This is a slippery slope for the Louvre as Dr. Hawass has called for the return of the Dendera Zodiac which was violently torn off a little temple in the early nineteenth century. The zodiac also happens to be one of his five most important objects that Dr. Hawass wants back.

Though the return of the five fragments should not be too big an issue, however even if the Louvre did return the fragments there is nothing to say that Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities will lift the suspension of the Louvre's archaeological missions.

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