Thursday, March 3, 2011

Zahi Hawass Resigns

My Twitter feed first brought me indications that Zahi Hawass had resigned ... and then there was Kate Taylor's piece for the New York Times ("Egyptian Antiquities Chief Resigns", March 3, 2011).
Reached by telephone, Mr. Hawass said he was happy that he had made the “right decision” in resigning and lashed out at colleagues who have criticized him, including one who has accused him of smuggling antiquities.
Lee Rosenbaum has a good overview of the resignation ("End of an Egyptology Era: Zahi Hawass Resigns", CultureGrrl March 3, 2011). This came in the wake of Hawass listing of what appears to have been stolen from archaeological stores and sites during the recent unrest ("The status of Egyptian antiquities today, 3 March, 2011").

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Charles Ellwood Jones said...

It seems likely that his resignation was a part of the dismissal this morning of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and therefore not entirely his own decision. But this story is so murky that it will take some time to sort out.


No matter what happens to Zahi Hawass in the post-Mubarak era, he has done great service to Egypt and Africa as far as restitution is concerned. He has also made archaeology fascinating for the general public. But we should not think that restitution starts and ends with the presence of Hawass. The issue will remain as long as the West retains illegally and illegitimately the cultural artefacts of other nations. When all of us are gone, if things remain as they are, the resultant problems will have to be resolved, with or without Zahi Hawass,the man who brought great dedication and enthusiasm to his work. Dr.Kwame Opoku.


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