archaeologist and Egyptologist, has demanded that the statue of French archaeologist Jean Francois Champollion, which is located in the courtyard of College of France, be removed or relocated because it is unpleasant to Egyptians.
Champollion is depicted on the statue standing with his foot on Ramses’ head.
Hawass made the request during a recent lecture at the “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs” exhibition in Paris, which runs until September 17.
“This statue demonstrates contempt and a lack of appreciation that is not shared by the Egyptian people, who recognized Champollion’s contribution to Egyptology and named a street after him,” Hawass stated. “As a result, we demand the same level of respect.” The show features an array of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including solid gold and silver jewelry, statues, amulets, masks, and other sarcophagi, as well as the coffin of one of ancient Egypt’s longest-ruling pharaohs, Ramses II.
Visitors can learn about Ramses II’s life and accomplishments through state-of-the-art audiovisual replicas of ancient Egyptian civilisation.
The touring exhibition has taken place in a number of significant cities. It opened in Houston in November 2021 before going to San Francisco last August. Champollion’s statue is composed of limestone and was carved from a single piece of stone. Champollion is the French academic who deciphered the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi created it in 1875.
Meanwhile, Hawass has urged France to repatriate further antiques.
“The Zodiac ceiling (Dendera zodiac) now on display at the Louvre Museum must be returned to its original location, the Dendera Temple in Qena Governorate (southern Egypt).” The Dendera zodiac is a portrayal of the sky and stars in ancient Egypt. It is a circular bas-relief carving from the ceiling of Dendera’s Temple of Hathor.
One of the earliest known renderings of the constellations is the zodiac.
The Zodiac Ceiling enthralled Gen. Louis Desaix, a member of Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, so much so that he commissioned artist Denon to depict it for the Description de L’Egypte, a record of the expedition’s tour of Egypt.
The beauty and significance of the ceiling were not lost on French collector Sebastien Saulnier. He decided that such a magnificent artwork belonged to France.
Saulnier, on the other hand, was determined to keep his scheme hidden and declared that he was excavating in Thebes, where he bought mummies and antiques to mask his tracks. During this period, some English guests were also drawing at Dendera, and Saulnier returned only after they had left.
Saulnier lifted the Temple Ceiling and brought it to Paris with the assistance of his French agent. The ceiling was eventually sold for 150,000 francs to King Louis XVIII.
Last October, Hawass launched an electronic signature campaign demanding the restitution of the British Museum’s Rosetta Stone and the Louvre Museum’s Zodiac Ceiling.
“The Zodiac is considered a unique and important Egyptian artifact, and removing it from its original location is immoral as it is a symbol of Egyptian civilization that must be returned to its rightful place,” Hawass remarked at the time.