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Copyrighting Egyptian antiquities

2 January, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Chinese terracotta warriors on display at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology in Germany.  Now here’s another interesting case of cultural heritage, authenticity, and profit sharing: the CBC and the BBC are both reporting that the Egyptian government is considering copyrighting pharaonic antiquities, “from the pyramids to scarab beetles, in an attempt to collect royalties from the creation of replicas.”  The money gained from copyright royalties would be used to maintain antiquities sites in Egypt.  In a rare moment of understatement, Hawass said that the Las Vegas Luxor hotel would not be affected by the proposed law “because its interior bears no resemblance to a pyramid. “

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