Egypt wants the British Museum to give it back the Rosetta Stone.

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Egypt wants the British Museum to give it back the Rosetta Stone. Nearly 200 years have passed since the Rosetta Stone was deciphered, which gave people the key to understanding Ancient Egyptian history. The famous slab now sits far from where it came from. But a group of Egyptian archaeologists wants to change that by asking again for the Rosetta Stone to be sent back to where it came from.

Al-Jazeera said that the group started a petition to ask the government to send a formal request to England to get the Rosetta Stone back. The stone is currently on display at the British Museum. So far, about 2,500 people have signed the petition.

During Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt in 1799, French soldiers found the Rosetta Stone. After the French army was defeated by the British, the stone and 16 other artefacts that the French had dug up were given to the British. Since 1802, it has been on display at the British Museum, and the people who used to rule Egypt don’t want to give it back.

The stone is part of a bigger stone slab that has a message written in hieroglyphics, demotic, which is a cursive Egyptian script used every day, and Ancient Greek. When it was first found, no one knew how to read the Ancient Egyptian language of hieroglyphics. But at the beginning of the 19th century, scholars were able to use Ancient Greek writing to break the Rosetta Stone’s code and finally figure out what Ancient Egyptians were saying.

The Rosetta Stone is especially important for Egyptians because it helps them learn about their ancestors’ history and culture. But the British Museum’s website says that the Rosetta Stone is “one of the most famous objects in the British Museum,” even though it represents the country’s colonial history. Aside from the Rosetta Stone, the British Museum has a lot of stolen items that it won’t give back to its rightful owners.

But there is a chance that if enough people put pressure on the museum, it might give back some of the stolen pieces of history. In August, the British Museum agreed to give back to the government of Nigeria 72 artefacts that were taken from Nigeria during a British military invasion more than a hundred years ago.

Before the British Museum finally agreed to give them back, Nigeria had been asking for them for decades. The institution only gave up after trying in 2018 to get Nigeria to take the objects on loan instead.

Egypt, on the other hand, has not been able to get its stolen artefacts back through negotiations. The Egyptian government has also asked Germany for decades for the bust of Queen Nefertiti, which is 3,400 years old, to be returned.

However, the German government has always said no. Egypt’s ancient history is used to promote its tourism industry. Egyptian artefacts can be found all over the world in museums and galleries. Around 2 million people work in the industry, and it brings in a lot of money for the country in the form of foreign currency.