Without yet saying when the transfer will take place, the French government has agreed to hand over to Egypt five fresco fragments in the Louvre that were recently demanded by Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. The French museum said it had acquired them in good faith in 2000 and 2003.
The BBC, Associated Press and Agence France-Presse have the story. The government’s press release, for you French-language readers, is here [via].
Not a word has been publicly said during this latest contretemps about the Louvre’s very major Egyptian antiquity that has long been on Hawass’ must-have list—the celebrated Zodiac of Dendera. That would be a much more difficult discussion:
The Zodiac of Dendera, Ptolemaic Period, reign of Cleopatra VII, 50 BC, the Louvre