Germany lends statue to Egypt for show
Cairo - Egypt said on Tuesday that Germany had agreed to return a 4 500-year-old ancient Egyptian statue for a temporary exhibition at the inauguration of the new Egyptian Museum in 2011.
Antiquity supremo Zahi Hawass said the Roman and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim had agreed to lend Egypt the seated statue of Hemiunu, architect of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The famous statue is one of five that Hawass wants for the new museum's opening, including more controversially the bust of Nefertiti and the Rosetta stone.
"Germany's acceptance is the first acceptance we get in our attempt to retrieve five pieces of antiquity for the opening of the new museum," Hawass said in a statement.
In April, Egypt and Germany had a row over the 3 400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti with Egypt threatening to ban future displays of its ancient artifacts in Germany if Berlin refused to return the statue.
Cairo and Berlin have frequently crossed swords over the limestone bust, which was unearthed by German archaeologists in an artist's studio on the banks of the Nile and taken to Germany under a 1913 agreement.
Hawass has made it his mission to retrieve Egypt's widely scattered antiquities that can be found in museums around the world.
The new Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled to open in 2011 near the site of the Great Pyramids at Giza, outside Cairo.
Hemiunu was a vizier during the reign of his uncle, Cheops, and is credited for having been the architect of that king's pyramid at Giza.