Egypt wants the Rosetta Stone back from Britain. Is now the time to heal “the wounds inflicted by colonial powers?”

Visitors take a look at the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, August 24, 2022 in London, England.

Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Getty

Cairo — More than 200 years after scientists decoded the Rosetta Stone, campaigners in Egypt have launched a petition calling on the nation’s chief to submit a proper request for England to return the iconic artifact to its dwelling nation. The campaigners argue the Rosetta Stone, together with 16 different artifacts which were in the U.Ok. for hundreds of years have been eliminated from Egypt illegally, and it is time to get them back.  

There have been many earlier requests for the stone’s repatriation, however Dr. Monica Hanna, an Egyptologist and member of the staff main the marketing campaign, informed CBS News she was assured that the new method — searching for help from Egyptian, British and another members of the normal public — will succeed.  

Dr. Monica Hanna, Acting Dean of the College of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, is one in all the organizers of the “Repatriate Rashid” marketing campaign.

Facebook/Monica Hanna

“Previously it was the government alone asking for Egyptian artifacts, but today this is the people demanding their own culture back,” Hanna informed CBS News on Wednesday. “Definitely all these objects are going to be repatriated, it is just a matter of when.”  

In July 1799, a year after Napoleon invaded Egypt, the Rosetta Stone was found by likelihood in the Nile Delta metropolis of Rashid. A French navy engineer supervising digging at an previous fort thought the stone seemed particular, so he despatched it to Cairo for examination.     

He was proper. The stone bears a brief textual content in three totally different languages, historic Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphs. If the three texts stated the identical factor, then there was hope that current information of historic Greek may assist scientists to lastly decode Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

When the French surrendered to the British in 1801, they gave up the stone and 16 different artifacts as a part of a the “Treaty of Alexandria,” and all of the objects went to the British Museum in London.

This October 27, 2021 photograph reveals the bust of French scholar and philologist Jean-François Champollion, recognized for his decipherment of the Egyptian Hieroglyphic script, in entrance of a duplicate of the Rosetta Stone, which was instrumental in the decipherment, on show at the entrance of the Egyptian Museum in Egypt’s capital Cairo.


It took many years, however on September 27, 1822, historian and linguist Jean-Francois Champollion introduced that he had lastly cracked the code.   

While the message on the stone proved largely inconsequential, the triple-language repetition made the artifact a key to unlock 1000’s of secrets and techniques about one in all the most studied historic civilizations on Earth — and it additionally made it potential for vacationers to have their names written in Hieroglyphics on bracelets once they go to Egypt at present.  

Hanna is assured that the marketing campaign’s moral argument, calling for objects which might be undeniably Egyptian to be returned to the nation, will finally prevail. And the campaign’s website makes it clear that it is an argument not just for Egyptians to embrace, however Brits, too.

“This is a powerful opportunity for Britain to demonstrate moral leadership, and to choose to follow moral principle over profit and support the healing of the wounds inflicted by colonial powers,” the message at the high of the petition web site states. “We urge everyone who believes in the right of cultural identity, the right of equality among nations, and the inalienable right of each sovereign state to enjoy their own heritage and reclaiming that heritage if it has been taken from them; to sign this petition in support of the return of Rosetta stone to its country of origin: Egypt.”

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“The public will not accept to have such cultural violence represented in their own museums,” Hanna predicted. “People will no longer look at these museums as institutions of culture, but as institutions of crime… The museums need to catch up to the ethical values of the 21st century.” 

More than 2,500 individuals had signed the petition as of Thursday, 11 days after it was launched.

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