(ORDO NEWS) — An ancient artifact is on display amid calls from scientists for the British Museum to return it to Egypt.
The Rosetta Stone has been moved from its place of honor in the British Museum for the first time in 18 years ahead of an exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphs.
However, the calls of scientists from the University of Manchester and Oxford to return the artifact may interfere with the planned event.
The curators have moved the 2,000-year-old stone from its display at the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery, where it was installed 18 years ago, to take pride of place in the new “Discovering Ancient Egypt” exhibition.
The unusual exhibition will bring together more than 240 objects, including a 3,000-year-old papyrus scroll from Queen Nejmet’s Book of the Dead, a funerary text and a large black granite sarcophagus.
Joyce Tyldesley, professor of Egyptology at the University of Manchester and author of the forthcoming book Tutankhamun, told the Sunday Times: “Negotiations to send the stone back could begin now, in the year of the 200th anniversary of the deciphering of the stone.
Why is he in London and not in Cairo? There are already copies of the stone in the British Museum.”
Exhibition curator Ilona Regulsky said no official request had yet been made to the British Museum for the return of the Rosetta Stone.
She said, “We couldn’t really tell the story of deciphering hieroglyphs without the Rosetta Stone, so we thought it would have a good place in the exhibition.”
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