The Supreme Council of Antiquities (often called SCA) is the branch of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture responsible for the conservation, protection and regulation of all antiquities and archaeological excavations in Egypt. Established in 1859 as the Department of Antiquities, then renamed the Egyptian Antiquities Organization in 1971, the SCA acquired its present title in 1994 by presidential decree. The SCA is responsible for defining the boundaries around archaeological sites and is also the only agent permitted to restore or preserve Egyptian monuments. Foreign archaeologists working in Egypt are required to report all discoveries and finds to the SCA before publication, a somewhat controversial rule that has led to the expulsion of archaeologists from Egypt. The SCA also oversees the recovery of antiquities either stolen or illegally exported from Egypt, and between 2002 and 2008 retrieved 3,000 artifacts. It is currently embroiled in a dispute with the Berlin Museum over the bust of Nefertiti, which it claims was removed from the country by deceit. Previously it has asked for the return of the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum and the Dendara Zodiac from the Louvre.
The SCA is governed by an Administrative Council, headed by the Minister of Culture, currently Farouk Hosny, and a Secretary General, currently Zahi Hawass. The SCA headquarters are located in the Zamalek neighborhood of Cairo.