According to one Egyptologist and Rosetta Stone scholar, April Day, the Rosetta Stone on display at the McKay Library in Rexburg, Idaho is in fact the original Rosetta Stone found by a French Expedition at Rosetta and later surrendered to British Troops. The original was thought to have been on display at the British Museum, but an incident of “knocking-verification” brought these claims into question.
Day, while on holiday visiting Yellowstone with family, stopped at the McKay Library on BYU-Idaho’s Campus and noticed the so-called replica on display of the second floor of the library. After some suspicion, and ignoring warning signs not to touch, she instituted a high-tech impact-sound wave reverberation test (commonly referred to as “knocking-verification”). Day concluded that the replica was indeed the real deal. “I’d always been suspicious of the stele on display with the British Museum,” Day explained. “The original Rosetta Stone was carved from granodiorite, and granodiorite has often been mistaken with plaster and other materials used in replication of historical artifacts!”
International art crimes agencies are investigating these claims, but currently believe the switch was made some time when the replicas were created. “The replicas are so exact that anyone without knowledge of the material could have easily mistaken a fake for the real one” said one agency spokesperson. Employees of the company that manufactured the replicas are currently being questioned, but investigators have stated that an area man is wanted for questioning.
Librarians at the McKay Library have said nothing, but some expect they knew all along. One student, who wished to remain anonymous until the end of the semester, said “I asked one librarian if it was real, and he laughed and said ‘no,’ but then he winked, which I thought was odd.” The student wouldn’t give further details because she was enrolled in that librarian’s LR 111 class where she is learning about using the library’s resources. “It’s a great class! I love it!” She added.
Indeed, this seems to be the legacy of the Rosetta Stone. After discovery by Napoleon’s troops, it fell into British hands in 1801. The Egyptian government has sought for its return to Egypt, but now it appears to be with a Library in Idaho. BYU-Idaho students are encouraged to stop by and see the priceless artifact while they can. Who knows where it will end up next!
When further questioned about her discovery, Day emphatically stated, “I swear it’s the real one at the Library, or my middle name doesn’t start with an F!”
More information about the Rosetta Stone at the McKay Library can be found here: http://www.byui.edu/special-collections/exhibits/rosetta-stone
Sam Bingham contributed to this story.