Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, March 04, 2011

@aymansimman on Twitter:

Zahi Hawass, minister of state for antiquities, is asked to hold Egypt’s antiquities in the new cabinet of New Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.
No official confirmation or details of source so I wouldn't like to say whether this is an accurate rumour or not.  I cannot yet find another other source reporting this.


Helmar said...

unconfirmed. Asked him, nothing back now.

Anonymous said...

I do hope its true! I know its only been a day but i have kinda missed the old boy! DaveH.

Anonymous said...

If the new PM asks him to stay on, Zahi's massive ego will explode.

Vincent said...

He has been asked but he rejected it. It was reported on CNN yesterday. Hawass responded:

"I have no interest in doing that at all,"

Meanwhile he is in court for violating a court verdict on the opening of the Museum Gift Shop:

tim said...

The timing is excellent for a changing of the guard. Without Dr. Hawass' ego around perhaps a true accounting can be told of the state of the monuments including the Cairo museum!

Geoff Carter said...

Vincent's report on the Museum Gift Shop, is most revealing, I think he is in trouble, and there is a serious risk of some big chickens coming home to roost.

Thomas Schuler said...

In a note emailed to USA TODAY on Saturday, Hawass confirmed his resignation from his recently-named post heading Egypt's antiquities ministry.
Excerpts from his note follow:

Yes, it is true. I resigned because of three main things:

1. During the earlier protests, Egyptian youths and the police protected the museums and monuments. Only the Egyptian Museum in Cairo was broken into and, thank God, all the important objects inside it were safe and only a few things were lost or broken. A report of exactly what is missing is still being compiled, however. Magazines were looted, but after initially appearing to get back to normal, the situation has recently become worse and there are many reports of thefts and illegal excavation.

2. Since the revolution, many people have continued to protest over other things, such as against me over jobs and salaries. Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide everything that everyone is asking for. In the Ministry of State for Antiquities, we need money to protect sites and to restore buildings and objects too. We need the money brought in by tourists who visit our sites and museums to fund these things and, at the moment, there are no tourists.

3. Crooks in the Ministry and at the University of Cairo have started to attack me personally. I cannot stand this!

Most importantly, however, is that there are not enough police to protect the sites. I hope that my resignation will put pressure on the government to do something about this and also encourage the international community to do so as well.

The Egyptian antiquities that are on tour at the moment are safe and kept so with contracts. They are completely safe and when the police are back in force, everything here will be protected properly again too.

Hawass, 63, says, "I do not have concrete plans for the future yet. I am still thinking about what I should do."

Patrick said...

One hardly thinks the new prime minister would run the unnecessary risk of reappointing someone who is at present so much under a cloud, and who was so intimately associated with the past régime. Obviously, if he were still in power it would help him to defend himself better, á á Berlusconi.

Patrick said...

Apparently the Egyptisn Association of Archaeologists has asked him to come back, and there have been demonstrations supporting him by SCA workers today in Giza, Luxor and the Cairo Museum. Wonders will never cease - or many people are not keen on rocking the boat.
Report at

Stephanie said...

Seems the game is over for Hawass as a new Minister for Culture and Antiquities and a new head for the SCA have been appointed.

Patrick said...

According to Al-Ahram today (Monday 7/3), the SCA/Ministry of Antiquities will function separately from the Min. of Culture, under the direct supervision of the cabinet; does this mean they don't trust it to operate on its own? No official source is given, and it's all a bit confused, as is everything concerning ZH.
His 'resignation' is also a bit unclear; what seems to have happened is that the whole cabinet, including him, was removed from office some time last week. If he did in fact jump ship, it must have been two minutes before he was pushed!
What is clear is that he only revealed the (nearly) full extent of the damage at the museum after his protector was kicked out, and gave the latest lurid tale of looting after his 'resignation'. His explanation for the latter is a mere exercise in vindictiveness and b-------.

Charles Green said...

Is this what was meant by the phrase "The Fog of War"?


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