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The Rosetta Stone and the Global Village

I noticed a letter in today's Independent by Alan D. Foster in response to the Rosetta Stone debate (December 14, 2009):
... Taken to its logical conclusion, every significant cultural artefact from another country currently housed in the British Museum would have to be repatriated. But how dull, then, if our country boasted only its own heritage and culture. Surely part of living in the global village is learning to share and value each other's art and history? ...
But is Egypt asking for the emptying of all the Egyptian sculpture galleries in the British Museum, or asking for the loan of a single, unique document that is iconic for the study of Egyptology?


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DR.KWAME OPOKU said…
There surely must be a better defence of the British Museum than the usual argument that if you return the Benin Bronzes, the Rosetta Stone or the Parthenon Marbles, many other nations will also put in their claims and thus empty the museum. There is something wrong with the persistence of this highly doubtful defence. Any time somebody puts in a claim for one object, like the Rosetta Stone, an alarm is raised that he wants to collect many objects from the museum. Zahi Hawass has emphasized enough that he wants from the British Museum only the Rosetta Stone and many are reacting as if he wanted to collect all Egyptian artefacts from the museum. This tactic seems to me a ploy to avoid discussing the specific demand made.

Kwame Opoku.

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