Louvre seeks to defuse Egypt row

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France's Louvre Museum says it is open to the idea of returning ancient Egyptian fresco fragments at the centre of a row with Egyptian officials.

Earlier, Egypt's head of antiquities Zahi Hawass told the AFP news agency that the Louvre had bought the fragments knowing they were stolen.

Egypt had severed co-operation with the Louvre, pending their return, he said.

The Pharaonic steles, on display in the Louvre, are reported to be from a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor.

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