Egypt is to host a conference on the return of antiquities in Cairo in the spring. It is estimated that about 30 countries, including Greece, Mexico, Peru, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia and China, will attend. No date has yet been set for the three-day conference.

The conference will be organised by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, whose head, Zahi Hawass, has spear-headed the campaign to have artistic treasures now in the hands of other countries returned home.

The aim of the conference is to agree on some form of joint group action and to draw up a list of the main antiquities concerned.

Egypt is at present demanding the return of the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum, just as the Greek government wants the return of the Elgin marbles also in the British Museum. Egypt