How did it end up at the B.M.?Colonel Tomkyns Hilgrove Turner, who escorted the stone to Britain, claimed later that he had personally seized it from Menou and carried it away on a gun carriage. In his much more detailed account however, Clarke stated that a French 'officer and member of the Institute' had taken him, his student John Cripps, and Hamilton secretly into the back-streets of Alexandria, revealing the stone among Menou's baggage, hidden under protective carpets. According to Clarke this savant feared for the stone's safety should any French soldiers see it. Hutchinson was informed at once, and the stone taken away, possibly by Turner and his gun-carriage. French scholars departed later with only imprints and plaster casts of the stone.
So what happened to the Rosetta Stone?Although the stone was Napoleon's most coveted war acquisition , the French ceded it to Britain under the Treaty of Alexandria in 1801 and it has been exhibited in the British Museum since 1802.
What are the arguments of the Egyptian government for its repatriation? Zahi Hawass continues to be Egypt's point man in this effort. "If the British want to be remembered, if they want to restore their reputation, they should volunteer to return the Rosetta Stone because it is the icon of our Egyptian identity," said Dr Hawass
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