THE Australian government has confirmed it is looking into the case of a 95-year-old Perth woman accused of looting artefacts from countries including Egypt، PerthNow reported.
Monica Hanna of Egypt's Heritage Taskforce posted an open letter to Australia's Ambassador to Egypt Neil Hawkins on Facebook earlier this month، alleging Joan Howard spent most of her time during her husband's diplomatic trips looting archaeological sites. "It is not acceptable that Mrs Howard behaved as a pirate and appropriated from the different archaeological sites،" Ms Hanna wrote.
"Mrs Howard has broken all possible laws taking advantage of her diplomatic status.
"I demand that an investigation should be carried out on the sources of Mrs Howard's collection now in Perth."
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was investigating the matter and was obligated under UNESCO conventions to return foreign cultural property which had been illegally exported from their country of origin.