Rosetta Stone row ‘would be solved by loan to Egypt’
Egypt’s head of antiquities will drop a demand for the permanent return of the Rosetta Stone if the British Museum agrees to loan it out, he says.
The Stone – a basalt slab dating back to 196BC which was key to the modern deciphering of hieroglyphics – has been at the museum since 1802.
Dr Zahi Hawass has long called for foreign museums to return six of the most prized antiquities of Egypt.
The British Museum said it would consider the loan request soon.
A spokeswoman said no official request had been made by Egypt for the permanent return of the stone, but the loan had been discussed and would be considered by the museum’s trustees "fairly shortly".
Dr Hawass said while he still ultimately wanted the stone to have its home in Cairo, he would settle for the British Museum’s acceptance of his request for a three-month loan.
"We are not pirates of the Caribbean – we are a civilised country"
Dr Zahi Hawass