Sudanese and archeological experts renewed their calls for returning from the Vatican Museum in Rome the mummy of the “Kandaka”, the god Amun’s wife (Amani Ridis), who was addressed as “Her Highness the wife of God Amun.”
Muahannad Othman, an archaeological researcher who is part of the campaign for retrieving the queen, says that the Vatican Museum has been asked that the princess’s mummy be returned to the Sudanese National Museum.
Othman explained that the campaign, along with its initiative to retrieve the mummy, is trying to figure out how it got to the Vatican Museum, especially since it falls into the twenty-fifth sequence of the families of the Pharaonic kingdoms, and is a religious symbol of the worship of the god Amon.
Its presence at the Vatican is bewildering despite the stories that the mummy was gifted by the British colonialists.
He went on to say that the campaign spreads awareness about the history of the Nubian kingdoms of Sudan, and that he is awaiting the signing of the Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites to recover the mummy and other Sudanese monuments in museums around the world.
“We need an official document that supports the campaign because some laws prevent the recovery of monuments after 50 years.”
Munawar Sayed Ahmed, an archaeological activist, called on Sudan’s National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums to endorse the campaign, plan for retrieving the Sudanese artifacts and antiques scattered across museums in the world, communicate with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and sign the 1977 agreement, which allows for recovering of monuments upon request.
He added: “The National Corporation should find out which international museums hold Sudanese monuments. The Louvre Museum, for example, includes 340 artifacts and antiques.”
Director of the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums Ghalia Jar El-Nab said that networks of experienced foreign archaeologists facilitated the theft of antiquities.
While much was lost during the colonial period (1898 – 1956), “the great disaster hit with the Antiquities Law of 1999, which allowed foreign archaeological missions to share the discovered antiquities with Sudan.”