Egyptian forum on stolen artifacts opens
An international conference on recovering Egypt’s stolen artifacts opened yesterday in Cairo by Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). One of the keys points highlighted in the forum was that countries need to come together and cooperate with one another to recover their looted treasures. "We need to cooperate, we need a unification between our countries," Hawass told antiquities officials, deputy culture ministers and museum directors from 21 countries at the two-day forum.
"We will battle together," he said, adding that "maybe we will not succeed in a lifetime (but) we have to open the subject."
Hawass urged delegates to draw up lists of artifacts missing from their countries and displayed in museums abroad. "This conference shows the importance many countries place in joining forces," said Elena Korka, who is in charge of protecting Greece's cultural heritage.
About 30 countries were invited to participate in the forum out of which 21 have sent their delegates. These include Austria, Bolivia, Chili, China, Cyprus, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Italy, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Syria and the United States. Britain, France and Germany, that have been repeatedly accused by Egypt of taking their Pharaonic artifacts, are not attending.
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