Museum Repatriation : The Egyptian Revolution

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Museum Repatriation In 2011, the Egyptian Revolution sparked not only dramatic social and political changes in Egypt, but also drastic changes around the world. For years the former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, Zahi Hawass, unapologetically demanded the return of some of Ancient Egypt’s most valuable treasures including: the Rosetta Stone, the Statue of Hatshepsut, the Luxor Obelisk, the Zodiac Ceiling and Nefertiti’s Bust. He went as far as to formally demand them back and label them as ‘stolen artifacts’, even though he openly admitted Egypt has no legal claim to them. The chances of these artifacts being returned were incredibly slim even before the Egyptian Revolution, but after Egypt had no chance of reclaiming…show more content…
Once a country obtains an item legally, they have the right to do whatever they want with it, including destroy it. The middle east is not a safe place for history (let alone people) right now. So, why would we send these artifacts back where they 're not safe? One danger of keeping large quantities of artifacts together, is that if there were a disaster, it would affect all of them instead of only a few. The Louvre in Paris alone contains over 35,000 objects. If there were to be a natural disaster, it would affect all of these artifacts. However, many preventative measures are taken. EXPAND (What measures? Louvre fire 1999, example. Mona Lisa security.) Accessibility Along with the safety of the artifacts in certain countries in the middle east and Egypt, it 's also not safe for visitors, especially from the United States, which makes the items much less accessible. A good example of this is Nefertiti’s bust. The famous bust was discovered by a German team in 1912, and has been displayed in Berlin since 1913 (with the exception of WWII when she was hidden in a salt mine for safety reasons). She is prominently displayed at the Neues Museum where over one million people visit her per year. In 2014, 9.8 million people visited Egypt, while 28.7 million people visited Berlin alone ( Her

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