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Egyptian Treasures

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Most of what the world knows about ancient Egypt comes from the study of the many artifacts their civilization left behind.

But over the years scientists, tourists and even deliberate thieves removed items from the country with the intention of studying them, having a nice souvenir or selling them for a profit.

For years, Dr. Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archeologist, and the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, has been working to convince museums around the world to return artifacts they’ve acquired to the countries they came from — particularly those that came from his country.

Learn more about the individual items he’s interested in bringing back in the slideshow below.


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What it is: An ancient Egyptian slab with a decree from King Ptolemy V inscribed in it in three separate languages. Because it has the same text in three languages, it served as an initial key to understanding hieroglyphs.

Where it is now: The stone is the most popular item in The British Museum.

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What it is: An Egyptian bas-relief taken from the ceiling of a chapel dedicated to Osiris, an Egyptian God. It depicts the astrological signs of Taurus and Libra and some feel it represents a map of the ancient sky.

Where it is now: Paris' Louvre Museum.

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What it is: A painted limestone bust of the son of a Ankhhaf, who was the son of the Pharaoh Khafre

Where it is now: The Museum of Fine Arts Boston

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What it is: A seated statue of Ramses II with feet on top of nine bows representing the foreign powers that once subjugated the Egyptians.

Where it is now: The Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy.

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What it is: A statue of Hemiunu, believed to be the architect of The Great Pyramid of Giza and the son of Prince Nefermaat.

Where it is now: The Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim, Germany.

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What it is: A painted limestone bust of Nefertiti, believed to have been created by Thutmose around 1345 BC.

Where it is now: The Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.

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