The bad news keeps rolling in for Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass, who yesterday was sentenced to one year in prison for his failure to enforce a court ruling. In other news, many Egyptians are outraged that Hawass used ancient Egyptian artifacts to promote his own menswear line.
The egotistical Hawass is baaaack! Less than a month after leaving his post as Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities due to revolution fallout, Zahi Hawass has returned to the job.
This week on Required Reading … responses by William Powhida and Tom Moody to two Hyperallergic posts, poet Elizabeth Bishop’s other art, John Ashbery on R. B. Kitaj, a conservative’s opinion on street art, contemporary art as Mannerism and megalomaniac Zahi Hawass interviews himself …
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 … [NYTimes’ Artsbeat blog]
On February 2nd, a post published on now-Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass’s blog categorically stated: “I would like the people of the world to know that today all of the Egyptian monuments are safe.” The post assures us that no major Egyptian archaeological sites have been seriously damaged besides the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, at the epicenter of the protests that recently overthrew Mubarak’s government (of which Zahi Hawass was a prominent part). Oh, but there was also the “looting of the storage magazine in Qantara,” during which an unknown amount of antiquities were stolen, though 288 were reportedly returned. Hawass’s blog gives a uniquely skewed perspective on Egyptian lootings over the past weeks, not to be trusted, but certainly not to be discounted either.
UPDATE 35: Sun Jan 30, 10:29am EST: … In a shocking development, the former director of the Egyptian Museum, Wafaa el-Saddik, in an interview published on German publication Zeit Online has said that the individuals responsible for the looting at the National Museum included the institution’s own guards, the fire danger at the NDP headquarters is now over after two days, and the most shocking revelation that the Memphis Museum in Memphis, Egypt, has been completely looted.
Apparently Egypt is starting to get jealous of Greece and wants to repatriate Cleopatra’s Needle, the trophy of cultural dominance granite stele that’s been festooning Central Park since 1881. Too bad 129 years is totally long enough for finders keepers! Here are five reasons Egypt won’t get their stele back. So there.