France to return 5 ancient relics to Egypt


France plans to return five five stolen relics of an ancient wall painting to Egypt next week, ending a feud over their ownership.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office says the pieces will be returned to Egypt on Monday, the same day the French leader hosts his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak for lunch. The announcement came Friday.

France’s culture minister agreed in October to return the treasures after Egypt cut ties with Paris’ Louvre Museum over the issue.

The painted wall relics come from a 3,200-year-old tomb near the ancient temple city of Luxor.

Egypt is stepping up demands for the restitution of many relics including the Rosetta Stone on display in the British Museum and the bust of Queen Nefertiti in Berlin’s Neues museum.

“Everything which was stolen from us should be given back,” said Zawi Hawass, the current head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, in January.

Source: AP