March 10, 2011 – On Thursday March 3, 2011, the online version of the New York Times reported that Dr. Zahi Hawass had resigned as Egyptian Minister of Antiquities. The controversial master of Egyptian history himself contradicted this announcement. He called the times and stated that he was only thinking about resignation. He was still in office.
But the accusations accumulated. Nobody contested that the Supreme Council of Antiquities headed by Hawass was watching helplessly how numerous museums, excavation warehouses and archaeological sites have been looted.
In addition to that accusations were made that Hawass abused his position as director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. He is said to have conferred a major edge to the Sound and Light Company, which is responsible for the light spectacle performed at the foot of the pyramids. Hawass is member of the board of this enterprise. It’s about a new bookshop, which was added to the Egyptian Museum. Due to intense intervention of Hawass Sound and Light was given the tenancy over the bookshop after a number of auctions and despite a converse verdict.
A French source even accuses Hawass to have been involved in illegal trade in ancient cultural objects.
Pressure became too strong. Hawass resigned. He published this fact by means of an interview on his own website. He gives the following major reason: “I cannot stay in Egypt and see antiquities being stolen when I cannot do anything to stop it!”
Besides that he complains about three colleagues who have accused him being dishonest, having stolen ancient objects and having committed other illegal acts. He incriminates them having raised a crowd of young Egyptians against him, who are raising a hue and cry for work.
At this juncture he, Hawass, feels not longer able to execute his office. That’s the reason for his resignation.
We agree. At this juncture it is time that Hawass resigned.
If you want to read the updated article of the New York Times of March 3, 2011, click here.
For Hawass’s list of looted museums, excavation warehouses and archaeological sites click here.
If you want to know more about Hawass’s role in the bookshop affair, click here.
If you want to see the French article accusing Hawass of having been involved in illegal art trade, click here.
If you want to read Hawass’s own statement about the processes, click here.