“Lara Croft” in old age.
Egyptian archaeologists blame 95-year-old Australian woman Joan Howard in the theft of the tombs in the middle East. In the 1960-1970-ies Joan was the wife of a UN diplomat and had free access to excavations in Syria, Egypt, Palestine and other countries. Illegally obtained artifacts the woman later carried to his home in Australia.
Archaeological scandal erupted after an interview with 95-year-old Joan Howard, the Australian edition of “The West Australian”. In it, the woman demonstrated the unique artifacts – funerary mask of Egyptian mummies, arrowheads axes of the Neolithic period older than 40,000 years, ancient Roman weapons, coins and other valuables. Experts have estimated the collection of grandmother 1000000 Australian dollars (more than 760,000 U.S. dollars).
After that, the archaeologists, among them Monica Hanna and David Anderson, appealed to Australian officials demanding the return of illegally exported historical value. Monica Hanna, in particular, called Joan Howard “pirate” and requires comprehensive investigation.
“We want to investigate and understand how these things came from Egypt to Australia,” said Director General of the Department of restoration of antiquities in the Egyptian trusteeship Council of antiquities Shaaban Abdel Gawad.
“The West Australian” dubbed a female “Indiana Joan” in honor of the hero of a series of films about Indiana Jones.
“Thanks to the connections her husband in UN woman had carte Blanche for a duration of 11 years and were free to move between Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. She used the diplomatic freedom before the international laws on the transportation of antiquities became more stringent,” – said the correspondent.
1970 a number of countries upvalue of the UNESCO Convention on illicit trade in cultural property. According to the document, a unique historical items or artifacts is prohibited to take out of their country of origin.
Now archaeologists from Egypt and other countries in the Middle East trying to secure the return of lost valuables.
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