Egypt's 'Indiana Jones' insists on loan -- or return -- of Nefertiti, Rosetta Stone





CAIRO -- Egypt's antiquities chief says if persuasion doesn't work, he will fight for an ancient bust of Nefertiti that a Berlin museum maintains is too fragile to ever travel.

Zahi Hawass rattled world museums last week with requests to hand over ancient Egyptian masterpieces, including the Rosetta Stone -- some as loans, others permanently...

But the bombastic archaeologist -- known for wearing an Indiana Jones-style hat -- has met resistance from museums reluctant to part with prized artifacts...

Beyond public pressure, it is not clear what Egypt could do to win even a temporary handover of the artifacts. Hawass has sought UNESCO's help in retrieving them. Another recourse would be courts in the countries where the pieces are held -- but that would mean costly legal battles with uncertain results...

''Some people say, 'If we give this bust to Egypt for three months they will not return it,''' Hawass said of the Nefertiti piece. ''I say: We are not the pirates of the Caribbean. We are in the 21st century, we have cooperation with all the countries and they respect our work.''...


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