Member of the Planning and Budget Committee in the House of Representatives, Ayman Mohaseb, announced the submission of a new bill called “Registration and Exploitation of Egyptian Antiquities at Home and Abroad”, which will allow the government to register all antiquities with the World Intellectual Property Organization Agency.
According to Mohaseb, Egypt will get billions in return if the bill passes, as there are millions of Egyptian antiquities in other countries.
The bill is expected to generate more than US$500 billion for the state, he explained, pointing out that the antiquities are spread in many countries of the world and Egypt can get a return as a result of the countries’ exploitation of antiquities.
The bill allows the government to register all antiquities and artifacts, whether small or large, so that no country can exploit them except by paying a return to Egypt.
Mohaseb added, for example, Germany registered the Mercedes trademark with the WIPO, and now, no country can exploit the trademark without paying a return to Germany.
Mohaseb will soon hold a meeting with Egypt’s Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled al-Anani in which he will present the new bill.
There are nearly 40 museums around the world that contain nearly a million Egyptian artifacts, including the British Museum in London, which contains more than 100,000 artifacts, the MP said.
He also mentioned the New Berlin Museum in Germany and the Petrie Museum in the UK, as each contain more than 80,000 artifacts. The Louvre Museum in Paris which has about 50,000 Egyptian artifacts, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in Michigan each have about 45,000 Egyptian artifacts.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm