Almost as soon as Germany celebrated the reopening of the Neues Museum (nearly destroyed in World War II), there is now a dispute between Germany and Egypt over the extraordinary 3,300-year-old limestone and stucco bust of Queen Nefertiti. The statue has been in Germany for just under a hundred years and Egypt is only now calling for its repatriation, claiming fraud in dealings over it. Egyptian antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, said, “If she left Egypt illegally, which I am convinced she did, then I will officially demand it back from Germany”. Where is Indiana Jones when we really need him! The dispute comes just after Egyptian culture minister Faruq Hosni complained about his failure to become new director general of UNESCO. Hosni went from frontrunner to also-ran when he said he would personally burn any Israeli book in an Egyptian library. Book burners aren’t your standard heads of UNESCO. Picking more fights, Hawass has accused France of stealing five ancient painted wall fragments that ended up in the Louvre Museum recently.
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