Zahi Hawass Resigns

Posted on March 7, 2011

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Zahi Hawass Resigns! What does this mean for Egyptian Antiquities? Many questions remain unanswered today as Egypt’s most famous Egyptologist Resigns his post?

The Following interview was published on the March 6, 2011, on the Zahi Hawass Website.

Why DR Hawass Resigned

Q: Dr. Hawass, for many years you have been the image of modern Egyptology. Why are you leaving now?

A: “I am leaving because of a variety of important reasons. The first reason is that, during the Revolution of January 25th, the Egyptian Army protected our heritage sites and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in the last 10 days the army has left these posts because it has other tasks to do. The group now in charge of the protection of these sites is the Tourist Police, but there are no Tourist Police to do this either. Therefore, what happens? Egyptian criminals, thieves (you know, in every revolution bad people always appear…), have begun to destroy tombs. They damaged the tomb of Hetep-ka at Saqqara, the tomb of Petah-Shepses at Abu Sir and the tomb of a person called Em-pi at Giza. They attacked a storage magazine at Saqqara and we do not yet know how many artifacts are missing; they opened two storage magazines at Giza; one tomb dated to the 19th Dynasty, the only one in the Delta in fact, was damaged at Ismaïlia; and a store at El-Qantara East has been broken into and looted for antiquities. People have begun to build houses and to excavate at night, everywhere, putting heritage sites all over the country at risk. I had to write a report and I sent it to the Director of UNESCO. That is why at the meeting of the Egyptian cabinet yesterday I had my speech prepared already and I said: “I cannot stay in Egypt and see antiquities being stolen when I cannot do anything to stop it!” This situation is not for me! I have always fought to return stolen artifacts to Egypt. I did fight Ahmed Ezz as well, the man in the Parliament, who was the most powerful man, because he wanted to allow antiquities to be sold in Egypt again. Read the Full Interview…

Reading the rest of Dr. Hawass’s interview one has to wonder if Egypt will go the way of Iraq and loose irreplaceable Artifacts? It is a sad day for Egyptian History!

I would also note that this is an underreported story so far?

The status of Egyptian antiquities today, 6 March 2011

 

 

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