Egypt’s head of antiquities will drop a demand for the permanent return of the Rosetta Stone if the British Museum agrees to a 3 month loan, he says. The Stone – a basalt slab dating back to 196BC which was key to the modern deciphering of hieroglyphics – has been at the museum since 1802. Dr Zahi Hawass has long called for foreign museums to return six of the most prized antiquities of Egypt.

For more information on the Rosetta Stone, try The Rosetta Stone by R B Parkinson available from This book is written by the Egyptian curator at the British Museum – that is the man currently in charge of the real Rosetta stone.

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