HC Deb 18 February 1982 vol 18 c194W
Mr. Moyle

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has received a request from the Egyptian Government that a portion of the beard of the Sphinx, at present in the British Museum, be returned to Egypt in order to assist with the restoration and preservation of the Sphinx; and what answer he proposes to give.

Mr. Luce

No request has been received from the Egyptian Government for the return of the portion of the beard of the Sphinx, although it is understood that Mr. Radwan, the Egyptian Minister of State for Culture, w ho is in Britain at the moment as a guest of Her Majesty's Government, may raise the question during his visit. By the terms of the British Museum Act 1963, the British Museum is statutorily prohibited from disposing of any of the objects in its collection except in certain well-defined circumstances—none of which is met in the case of the beard.