A stone said to have once been part of the casing of Egypt’s Great Pyramid is set to go on display in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh next month.
However, the BBC reported that Egyptian authorities have cast doubt over whether the stone owned by the museum is a part of the former casing of the monument, as well as requesting documentation to prove it was taken legally.
Shabaan Abdel Gawwad, supervisor-general of Egypt’s Antiquities Repatriation Department, has said that he wants to see a team visit Scotland to inspect the stone, and to check its export documents.
According to the Museum of Scotland, the stone was found by British engineer Waynman Dixon, who was working on behalf of Charles Piazzi Smyth, who undertook the “first largely accurate survey of the Great Pyramid” in the 19th century. The stone in question was brought to the UK, with the permission of the Egyptian authorities, in 1872.
There is also some debate over whether the Tura limestone piece held by the Museum of Scotland did come from the Great Pyramid.
Officials at the museum told the news provider that they are “confident” that the stone in their possession came from the base of the ancient monument. However, experts in Egypt have claimed that the Great Pyramid was clad in granite, rather than limestone.
The stone is due to go on display in February as the centrepiece of an exhibit about the design and construction of ancient Egypt’s pyramids.
Many museums in the UK are currently carrying out detailed research on the provenance of their exhibits, particularly those obtained during the colonial era. Leisure Opportunities explained that as well as checking where artefacts came from, the museums are also looking at how they can share this information with visitors.
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