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Look at the Ego on Him, Zahi Hawass and the Sphinx at Giza (via

The New York Times is reporting on its ArtsBeat blog that the Egyptian Antiquities head, Zahi Hawass, may resign after a month of defending his work as the head of antiquities and, in more troubling news, he has revealed some facts that suggest Egypt’s ancient heritage isn’t exactly safe:

In a telephone interview he said that thieves on Monday broke into two warehouses near the pyramids of Giza that held artifacts excavated in the early 20th century … “During the revolution nothing happened, but after the revolution many things are happening everywhere … People building houses, taking archaeological land, excavating at night — it’s like a nightmare, and I don’t know what I can do.”

… On Tuesday Mr. Hawass said that people had also been caught excavating at night at Abydos, an important archaeological site north of Luxor.

We have trouble believing anything Hawass says as when he isn’t bloviating about things he doesn’t understand (always with an Egyptian nationalist’s bias) and stating things like they are facts, until … well … people discover they aren’t.

Maybe Motherboard has it right when they ask:

… is Zahi Hawass the Qadaffi of near-Eastern antiquity?

Good question.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.