Friday, 15 August 2014

Stolen fragments from pyramid to be returned from Germany

Nevine El-Aref, 'Stolen fragments from pyramid to be returned from Germany' Friday 15 Aug 2014
On Friday, German authorities handed over to Egypt’s ambassador to Germany, Mohamed Hegazy, samples of King Khufu’s cartouche, taken illegally by two German archaeologists from a room [...] inside the Great Pyramid. [...] Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh El-Damati [...] said that the return of the samples comes after a year of legal and political efforts by the antiquities ministry.
I've covered this case on this blog earlier. These two were trying to get a sample which would 'prove' that Khufu's cartouche was a modern forgery, intended as a 'cover up' of the alleged fact that the Pyramid was much earlier than the 4th dynasty and archaeologists were hiding information. 
In November 2013 a documentary entitled The Cheops Project was released on YouTube, showing researcher Dominique Goerlitz and author Stefan Erdmann during their secret trip inside Khufu’s Pyramid and the difficulty they faced in reaching the cartouche. A sample of the cartouche was taken during the expedition and was subject to laboratory analysis in Germany.
I do not think it is true that the analyses were carried out, is it? 
When the documentary was released, the antiquities ministry learned about the illegal expedition inside the pyramid and decided to impose penalties on both German archaeologists for stealing the items and smuggling them outside of the country. The ministry’s permanent committee has prohibited any archaeological cooperation with Dresden University, which supported the work of the two German archaeologists, as well as the scientific laboratory where the stolen and smuggled samples were analysed. The case against the two Germans was referred to the Egyptian prosecutor-general for further investigation, alleging that both archaeologists had broken Egyptian law by entering the pyramid and taking the samples without permission from the ministry. They also smuggled the samples out of the country, in breach of international law and the UNESCO convention. [...] procedures are been taken in cooperation with the German authorities in order to penalise the criminals.
I am more dubious about the claim: "The samples are [...]  to be examined and restored if necessary before being returned to their original positions inside the pyramid in Giza".

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