Desroches Noblecourt, French Egyptologist, Dies

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PARIS (AP).- Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, a pioneering French Egyptologist who prodded Gen. Gamal Abdel Nasser to help salvage Nubia’s vaunted antiquities, has died. She was 97. Desroches Noblecourt died Thursday at a hospital in Epernay, east of Paris, where she had been taken after a recent stroke, said Anne Francoise, treasurer of a retirement home in the nearby town of Sezanne where Desroches Noblecourt lived the last few years. Born Nov. 17, 1913 in Paris, Desroches Noblecourt developed an early passion for Egypt after reading about the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the early 1920s. She later studied at the Louvre and the Sorbonne. After an initial trip to Egypt in the late 1930s, she became the first woman to be put on a stipend with the Cairo-based French Institute of Oriental Archaeology — cracking a male-dominated world of Egyptology. In a statement, President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to Desroches Noblecourt as the “grande dame of the Nile,” who blended s