30 November 2022
The debate over who owns ancient artefacts has been an increasing challenge to museums across Europe and America, and the spotlight has fallen on the most visited piece in the British Museum: The Rosetta Stone. The multi-translated inscriptions on the black granite slab brought the seminal breakthrough in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics after it was taken from Egypt by forces of the British Empire in 1801.
Now, as Britain's largest museum marks the 200-year anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphics, thousands of Egyptians are demanding the stone’s return. The acquisition of the Rosetta stone was tied up in the imperial battles between Britain and France and it is one of more than 100,000 Egyptian and Sudanese relics housed in the British Museum.
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