Egypt asks France's Louvre museum to return 'stolen' antiques | world | Hindustan Times
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Egypt asks France's Louvre museum to return 'stolen' antiques

Egyptian antiquities authorities have threatened to sever all cooperation projects with France's Louvre Museum until it returns the "stolen" Pharaonic antiques.

world Updated: Oct 08, 2009 10:06 IST

Egyptian antiquities authorities have threatened to sever all cooperation projects with France's Louvre Museum until it returns the "stolen" Pharaonic antiques.

As per the agreement between the two countries, Louvre Museum should report any stolen antiquities before purchasing them. "Despite that, former director of Louvre's Egyptian Antiquities Department Christine Ziegler purchased the stolen items," head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) Zahi Hawas said.

The SCA has sent a letter two years ago claiming the wall paintings and Henri Loyrette, director of the Louvre Museum, had promised to restore the items, the SCA chief added.

Loyrette claims the renowned Paris museum had bought the antiquities in 1980 even though its curators knew they were stolen.

French sources said that the antiquities Egypt was demanding were decorative fragments from a tomb in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor.

Egypt's decision to suspend cooperation will affect conferences organised with the museum, as well as work carried out by the Louvre on the Pharaonic necropolis of Saqqara, south of the capital Cairo.