The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, July 31, 2014


Egypt's Iconic Antiquities Chief, Zahi Hawass, Fired; Replaced by Professor in Restoration
File photo of Zahi Hawass, Egypt's top antiquities official until today, posing in front of the ancient Sphinx in Giza, Egypt. AP Photo/Amr Nabil.

By: Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press

CAIRO (AP).- Egypt's antiquities minister, whose trademark Indiana Jones hat made him one the country's best known figures around the world, was fired Sunday after months of pressure from critics who attacked his credibility and accused him of having been too close to the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Zahi Hawass, long chided as publicity loving and short on scientific knowledge, lost his job along with about a dozen other ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle meant to ease pressure from protesters seeking to purge remnants of Mubarak's regime.

"He was the Mubarak of antiquities," said Nora Shalaby, an activist and archaeologist. "He acted as if he owned Egypt's antiquities, and not that they belonged to the people of Egypt."

Despite the criticism, he was credited with helping boost interest in archaeology in Egypt and tourism, a pillar of the country's economy.

But after Mubarak's ouster on Feb. 11 in a popular uprising, pressure began to build for him to step down.

Hawass was among a list of Cabinet ministers protesters wanted to see gone because they were associated with the former regime.

And archaeology students and professors blasted him for what they saw as his lack of serious research.

Shalaby said Hawass didn't tolerate criticism. She said most his finds were about self-promotion, with many "rediscoveries" in search of the limelight.

Hawass prided himself in being the "keeper and guardian" of Egypt's heritage. He told an Egyptian lifestyle magazine, Enigma, in 2009 that George Lucas, the maker of the "Indian Jones" films, had come to visit him in Egypt "to meet the real Indiana Jones."

Hawass, 64, started out as an inspector of antiquities in 1969 and rose to become one of the most recognizable names in Egyptology. He became the general director of antiquities at the Giza plateau in the late 1980s, before being named Egypt's top archaeologist in 2002.

In one of Mubarak's final official acts as president, Hawass' position was elevated to that of a Cabinet minister. After Mubarak's ouster, Hawass submitted his resignation but he was reinstated before finally being removed Sunday.

His name has been associated with most new archaeological digs in Egypt, with grand discoveries such as the excavation of the Valley of the Golden Mummies in Bahariya Oasis in 1999 and the discovery of the mummy of Egypt's Queen Hatshepsut almost a decade later.

He was also a staple on the Discovery Channel, which accompanied him on the find of Hatshepsut's mummy. He started his own reality show on the History Channel called "Chasing the Mummies." The channel introduces him as "the man behind the mummies."

Hawass has long campaigned to bring home ancient artifacts spirited out of the country during colonial times. He said since he became top archaeologist, he managed to recover 5,000 artifacts.

In January, just before anti-government protests erupted, he formally requested the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti that has been in a Berlin museum for decades.

Hawass also had a fashion line, including his hat, for which he organized a photo-shoot in the Egyptian Museum, something that drew the ire of many archeologists.

"He was a personality created by the media," said Abdel-Halim Abdel-Nour, the president of the Association of Egyptian Archeologists.

He said many campaigned for Hawass's removal, including on Facebook and in Tahrir Square, the center of Egypt's protests.

Just before news of his departure, Hawass was heckled near his office Sunday as he left on foot. Protesters tried to block his way, until he jumped into a taxi to get away from the melee, the taxi driver, Mohammed Abdu, said.

Hawass was replaced by Abdel-Fattah el-Banna, an associate professor in restoration. He was frequently present in Tahrir Square during the protests.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.



Today's News

July 18, 2011

Egypt's Iconic Antiquities Chief, Zahi Hawass, Fired; Replaced by Professor in Restoration

Pop and Punk Drawings by German Artist Marc Brandenburg at Hamburger Kunsthalle

Pinacotheque de Paris Announces Alberto Giacometti and the Etruscans Exhibition

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Opens New Dinosaur Hall

The Morgan Presents a Spectacular Installation by Xu Bing: The Living Word

Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art Presents "Drawn to Nature"

Miami Art Museum Presents Brazilian Artist Rivane Neuenschwander's First Mid-Career Survey

Billionaire Ron Burkle Buys Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Landmark Ennis House

Sticky Fingers: Photographs from the Lost Session by Peter Webb on View at Snap Galleries     

Recently Discovered Old Master "St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus" at Auction in New Orleans

Leading Indian Modernists at Saffronart's 24-Hour Auction '99 Modern Paperworks'

The Only Way is Londinium, Roman London is Revealed with Augmented Reality in New App

Abbey House Sets Out to Conquer World Markets; will Open Four Branches

Heather James Fine Art Announces the Exclusive Representation of the Estate of Earl Cunningham

David Zwirner Announces Second Annual Summer Pop-Up Bookstore

Exhibition Covers the Phenomenon of Clothing and Fashion in Zagreb from 1945 to 1960

Newark Museum Receives $1 Million Grant from the Mellon Foundation to Support Major African Art Initiative

Company Organizes Murder-Mystery Scavenger Hunt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exhibition Explores Mid-Columbia Indian Life between 1900 and the Late 1950s

Under the Radar is Lyons Wier Gallery's Second Group Exhibition of the Summer Season

3rd Edition of PHOTOQUAI Biennial Announced by Musée du quai Branly in Paris

DePaul Art Museum's New Home to Open to the Public with Debut of "Re: Chicago" Exhibition

San Jose Museum of Art Presents "Ordinary Folks" by Photographer Bill Owens

Pre-Columbian Gold and Jade Jewelry to Be Displayed at the Fabergé Museum in Germany

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to Mount Definitive Exhibition on Preeminent African-American Artist

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site