From the BBC -Egypt hosts meeting on recovery of 'stolen treasures'

Global culture officials are to meet to discuss how to recover ancient treasures which they say have been stolen and displayed overseas.

Sixteen countries will be represented at the two-day conference in Cairo.

It has been organised by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), which wants many pharaonic items returned by Western museums.

The SCA said the forum would discuss "the protection and restitution of cultural heritage."

Representatives will include cultural officials from Greece, Italy and China, all of which have lost ancient artefacts over the centuries which that they now want back.

Stolen artefacts

At the conference, representatives will announce their wish-lists and consider strategies to persuade museums overseas to respond to their demands.

They are also expected to call on the United Nations cultural body, Unesco, to amend a convention banning export and ownership of antiquities stolen after 1970 - so that they can pursue items that were snatched earlier, says the BBC's Yolande Knell in Cairo.

In recent years, the Egyptian authorities have stepped up their efforts to recover stolen artefacts, with the head of the SCA, Zahi Hawass, attracting international attention for his efforts.

Last year, he broke off ties with the Louvre museum until France returned fragments chipped from a wall painting in an ancient Egyptian tomb.

He has repeatedly asked for the Rosetta Stone - which has been kept in the British Museum for more than 200 years - and a 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti on display in Berlin, to be given back to Egypt.

The story is here


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