PARIS — If Zawi Hawass, the current head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, made a "to do" list, it would read something like this:
- Naos artifact from the Met - check.
- Steele relics from the Louvre - check.
- Rosetta stone from the British Museum and bust of Queen Nefertiti from the Neues museum - in process.
Since taking office in 2002, Hawass has been on an international campaign to recover Egyptian artifacts for his country. On Monday, Hawass achieved another victory when France's President Nicolas Sarkozy presented his visiting Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, with the last of five in a series of what Egypt characterized as "stolen" ancient relics. "Thank you very much," Mubarak said to Sarkozy as the exchange was made.
The items at issue are 3,000-years-old and were taken from a wall painting of an ancient Egyptian tomb in the 1980s. The SCA argued that the pieces were stolen from Egypt, while French officials maintained that the Louvre took them from the country in good faith. Initially, Egypt's demands for the artifacts went ignored. Egypt then cut ties with the Louvre in October, causing the standoff that has now ended peacefully.
Read More - France Returns Stolen Louvre Relics to Egypt | Agence France Presse
[Photo: French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (right) on Monday. Courtesy: AFP]