Egyptians demand British Museum to return Rosetta stone

Photo by BritishMuseum/

Thousands are making the call for return as the British Museum celebrates 200-year anniversary of the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics 

As the British Museum prepares to celebrate the 200th anniversary since the discover of Egyptian hieroglyphics, debate over the return of Rosetta stone is increasing momentum in Egypt.

According to a report in the Associated press on Wednesday, November 30, the dark grey artifact which was key in helping decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics was taken by the British forces from Egypt in 1801.

Now thousands of Egyptians are demanding the return of the artifact to Egypt. Several petitions have been filed asking for its return from the British Museum, where it has been on display since over two centuries.

“The British Museum’s holding of the stone is a symbol of Western cultural violence against Egypt,” said Monica Hanna, dean at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, the report states. Hanna is also one of the organizers of the petitions calling for the stone’s return.  According to the report, Hanna has over 4,200 signatures on the petition that states, the stone was illegally seized and constitutes to spoil of war.

Another petition which now has over 100,000 signatures is being run by Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former minister for antiquities affairs. The petition states that Egypt had no say in the agreement made in 1801.

Meanwhile a statement by the British Museum said, the agreement made during the treaty in 1801 includes a signature of an Egyptian representative. It also said, the Egyptian government has not submitted any requested for the return of the Rosetta stone.

The stone, the report added, is part of over 100,000 relics from Egypt and Sudan presently housed at the British Museum.

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