15 Museum Artifacts That Should Be Returned to Their Home Countries

Many valuable artifacts end up in foreign museums. Sometimes, the artifacts are kept for research purposes, while others are retained to show them at museums, which can be seen as a disrespectful measure. For this reason, some argue that these objects should be returned to their original home immediately. Here are 15 artifacts that should be at the top of the list for a return flight.

The Rosetta Stone

Currently In: United Kingdom
Belongs To: Egypt

The famed Rosetta stone was discovered by the French in Rosetta, Egypt, in 1799. Featuring three distinct written scripts the stone has ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics at the top, Egyptian Demotic script at the middle, and Ancient Greek at its base. Because Ancient Greek was still widely understood by academics, the Rosetta Stone allowed for linguists to translate the Demotic and hieroglyphic portions. A complete understanding of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics had been lost around the fall of the Roman Empire in the 300s and 400s. Thus, these translations allowed for a fuller study of other ancient Egyptian texts and inscriptions.

After Napolean's forces surrendered to the British, many French archeological discoveries became the property of the British Crown. It was then transferred to the British Museum. Egypt's first formal request for the Rosetta Stone to be returned was in 2003. In 2005, the British Museum presented Egypt with a full-size replica; however, the original still resides in the London.

Image via: Wikipedia

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