In a potential blow to themed resorts from Vegas to Tokyo, Egypt is to pass a law requiring payment of royalties whenever its ancient monuments, from the pyramids to the sphinx, are reproduced.
Zahi Hawass, the charismatic and controversial head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told AFP on Tuesday that the move was necessary to pay for the upkeep of the country's thousands of pharaonic sites.
"The new law will completely prohibit the duplication of historic Egyptian monuments which the Supreme Council of Antiquities considers 100-percent copies," he said.
"If the law is passed then it will be applied in all countries of the world so that we can protect our interests," Hawass said.
He said that a ministerial committee had already agreed on the law which should be passed in the next parliamentary session, while insisting the move would not hurt Egyptian artisans.
"It is Egypt's right to be the only copyright owner for these monuments in order to benefit financially so we can restore, preserve and protect Egyptian monuments."
However, the law "does not forbid local or international artists from profiting from drawings and other reproductions of pharaonic and Egyptian monuments from all eras -- as long as they don't make exact copies."
Egypt wants to copyright pyramids
Posted on Sunday, Dec 30 2007 @ 08:10 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
AFP writes Egypt is going to pass a law to copyright its ancient monuments like the pyramids and sphinx: