Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cairo Conference: The Return of Cultural Property

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities has announced that it will be hosting a conference in April to discuss the return of antiquities. The conference will be seeking to resolve issues over cultural property that the home countries consider to be "stolen".

There will be a discussion of legal solutions though the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property is an internationally recognised benchamark. No doubt some countries will be seeking the return of obects acquired well before 1970.

The press release specifically cites Egypt's desire to reclaim the Rosetta Stone and the head of Nefertiti.

Among the coutrnies due to attend are Greece, Mexico, Peru, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia and China.

Other countries should also be represented. Bulgaria has a sigificant claim on a hoard of Byzantine silver, and FYROM (the Republic of Macedonia) is seeking the return of an archaic krater from a North American private collection.

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