Zahi Hawass Resigns

Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Affairs, has resigned in the wake of the resignation of former Egyptian Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak and the large scale looting of antiquities.  Kate Taylor reports the following at the NY Times Art Beat blog.

Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s powerful and controversial antiquities chief,
resigned on Thursday along with the prime minister, after posting on
his Web site for the first time a list of dozens of sites that have
been looted since the beginning of the uprising that led to the fall
of President Hosni Mubarak.

Among the places Mr. Hawass named as having been looted were the
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s storerooms at its excavation site in
Dahshur, south of Cairo. In a statement the Met’s director, Thomas P. Campbell, described that incident as having taken place several weeks ago.

Mr. Campbell expressed alarm about continuing looting, calling it “a
grave and tragic emergency.” In a statement, which was issued before
Mr. Hawass’s resignation was confirmed, he said:
“The world cannot sit by and permit unchecked anarchy to jeopardize
the cultural heritage of one of the world’s oldest, greatest and most
inspiring civilizations. We echo the voices of all concerned citizens
of the globe in imploring Egypt’s new government authorities, in
building the nation’s future, to protect its precious past. Action
needs to be taken immediately.”

HT: Jack Sasson


3 thoughts on “Zahi Hawass Resigns

  1. I say, "Good riddance!" I never cared for the way he sensationalized the opening of certain tombs for "live" TV, the way he handled the artifacts with his bare hands, his unjust demands for the return of artifacts from outside of Egypt, & especially for his ignorant opinions of the Great Pyramid's construction.

    On the other hand, I sympathize with him over the situation due to the riots, & the looting/destruction therefrom. Exactly what power would anyone expect him to have to prevent it? I suppose he could've been more forthright about what was going on if he honestly knew about it & didn't ask for help, but I don't believe he's the type to lie about the museums & storage facilities being relatively safe if they weren't.

    Finally, well I don't believe he would lie about Egyptian museums & facilities, I have serious doubts about the authenticity of this remark on his blog today, which comes after his list of damage to Egyptian facilities & Islamic monuments: "…all of the Jewish synagogues and all of the Christian churches and monasteries have remained safe and undamaged." It smacks of "Let's blame the Jews & Christians." If he was not aware of all the other damage until now (the day of his resignation), does anyone really believe he's that in touch with the status of every synagogue & church in Egypt?

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