Jean-François Champollion gave us much: the keys to understanding the ancient Egyptian language, and the opening up 3,000 years of Egyptian history.
On his 1828 visit to Egypt, he took a few things as well.
The largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings is KV17, the tomb of King Seti I, father of Ramesses II (the Great). It had been discovered just 11 years earlier by Giovanni Belzoni who described it as 'a new and perfect monument of Egyptian antiquity, which can be recorded as superior to any other in point of grandeur, style, and preservation, appearing as if just finished on the day we entered it.'
Seti of course wasn't there; he had been rewrapped and reburied for safe keeping in the royal cache over the ridge at Deir el-Bahri, in tomb DB320. His empty tomb made international headlines anyway; every passage and chamber was covered in brilliantly-coloured decorations in pristine condition.
So brilliant was the painting that Champollion was compelled to remove a section for the Egyptian collection at the Louvre. His motives were partly honourable; the year following Belzoni's opening of the tomb, flood waters poured in, damaging the fragile reliefs. This panel was already damaged when Champollion first saw it. It is likely that he felt that he was rescuing the scene from further flood damage, vandals, or thieves.
In the relief the goddess Hathor is shown welcoming the king into the underworld: she takes his hand (out of frame), and holds out her menat necklace as a symbol of her protection.
In the New Kingdom, Thebes was the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom, and Hathor, Lady of the West (the underworld) played an important role in the necropolis area, welcoming the dead and accompanying them into the afterlife.
On the goddess' wig are the horns of a cow (her sacred animal) and a solar disc (she is the daughter of Ra).
Today the restored relief stands in the Louvre, Paris (Cat. No. B7).