Egypt Announces It Has Cut Ties with France's Louvre Museum
Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass speaks to the media at the site of a newly-discovered pyramid at Saqqara near Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
CAIRO (AP).- The head of Egypt's antiquities department has announced the severing of ties with France's Louvre museum after it refused to return what he says are stolen artifacts.
Zahi Hawass issued a statement saying that no archeological expeditions sponsored by France's premier museum would be allowed to work in Egypt due to the disagreement.
Hawass told the Associated Press Wednesday that the Louvre had ignored repeated Egyptian requests for the return of four reliefs he says were stolen from a tomb in Luxor's Valley of the Kings in the 1980s.
He said the Louvre acquired them last year.
Upon taking the helm of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities in 2002, made recovering stolen Egyptian antiquities a priority.