Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Egypt Aggressively Repossessioning Stolen Art Works

All ancient civilizations across the world have been subject to ruthless plundering by unscrupulous elements in the world. The greatest plunderers have been Europeans and Arabs. As I write this post the largest trove of emeralds lies in the treasury of Turkey, property of India, plundered by Nadir Shah during the 18th century. A visit to any of the world famous museums in London, Paris, Berlin, or any other European nation would reveal hundreds of artworks plundered by these nations when they were busy colonizing the rest of the world.

Anyway today I was listening to National Public Radio while driving home from work and this news caught my attention. There was a report that a 3000-year old stolen Sarcophagus - highly decorated wooden coffin - was seized by the US customs in Miami and Egypt government staked a claim. Following some back and forth communications the US has agreed to return the Stolen Sarcophagus to Egypt.

During the program one Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities was interviewed. The Egyptian authorities don't know anything about the Sarcophagus except the name of the person buried in it. They feel that it was stolen from Egypt in 1970 but there are no facts known. But still they pursued and pressed for its return. That is the true spirit of patriotism and national pride. According to Hawass over 30,000 artworks have been repossessed during the past few years. The Egyptian government continues to press for return of many other major artworks including those housed in Louvre, and other globally renowned museums.

I am quite impressed by the way Egyptian government is pursuing its heritage and pressing for its return. Even though the present Egyptian population and its government are Islamic they are interested in their non-Islamic past and want to preserve it as part of their national heritage.

I wish Indian government would set up a similar council to chase after the plunderers and repossess all the art, and wealth that was plundered from our country during the 1200 years of Islamic and Christian colonization of our country. It is time that the westerners who plundered India said sorry and returned the things they stole from us. They can't return the people whom they killed but at least they can return our art works!!!

Pictures in this post was sourced from NPR who sourced it from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

No comments: