I received a wonderful invitation from Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian archaeologist, to sign an international document to restore two unique artifacts, which were looted from Egypt in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, namely the "Rosetta Stone" in the British Museum in London, and "Dendera zodiac" in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Well, it is a very important invitation as it coincides with the approaching of opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), we must all cooperate so that the number of signatures becomes in millions and not just 100,000; I was excited to sign with Dr. Hawass to call on the international community to demand the return of the stolen artifacts to their original homeland.
The invitation came from the Egyptian antiquities expert Dr. Zahi, who spent his life as an honest guard and servant of Egypt's antiquities, whether by discovering and restoring them or collecting and maintaining them, he differentiates between the artifacts that were legally released and those that were stolen, first of these artifacts is the two pieces that are the subject of the invitation, to which I add the head of Nefertiti, which is in Berlin, and I even demand to stop cooperating with museums that display them and to prevent all illegal practices in buying stolen antiquities which were taken out in the years preceding the establishment of the Egyptian Antiquities Authority in the nineteenth century.
The Rosetta Stone was taken by the French army in 1799, then the Britain seized it in 1801, and transferred it to England in 1802, and it is an important symbol of our Egyptian identity, the key of deciphering the ancient Egyptian language.
As for the "Dendera zodiac", the stone engraved with celestial constellations, the French army cut it off from the ceiling of the "Temple of Dendera", in 1922. It is a unique and important artifact, and removing it from its original position is "immoral", and it must return to its place.
The importance of Dr. Zahi's invitation comes in line with the respect and interest our civilization gains during the era of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as many discoveries were made.
As the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum approaches , the return of our looted heritage must be an appreciative participation and an important commitment from the major Western museums, so that the two pieces will be displayed in the "Grand Egyptian Museum", which is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2023.
I express my appreciation to President El-Sisi for the interest that our antiquities gained during his era.