Antiquities officials from around the world are meeting in Cairo, where Egypt's top archaeologist has urged international cooperation on the return of stolen artifacts from other countries.

The head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, urged states to draw up lists of ancient treasures stolen from their lands and displayed in museums abroad.

Hawass has been working to have Egyptian treasures returned from foreign museums, including the Rosetta stone in the British Museum and a bust of Queen Nefertiti in the Neues Museum in Berlin.

The two-day conference includes deputy culture ministers and museum directors from 21 nations, stretching from China, to Libya, to Peru.

A major goal of the conference is to ensure implementation of a 1970 convention of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.  It calls for countries to take steps to prevent the illegal export of national treasures.

The Rosetta stone is more than 2,200 years old and includes hieroglyphs inscribed by Egyptian priests.

The bust of Queen Nefertiti displays the face of a woman renowned for her beauty who lived more than 3,300 years ago.