In a marked shift from previous statements, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass has indicated that the government is not able to protect Egypt's ancient monuments and he is considering resigning from his post. See
Just recently, Hawass had stated on his blog,
Throughout this ordeal, there have been people who have been completely dishonest, and have tried, through their statements, to make the situation worse, in some cases by accusing me (in vague terms) of various inappropriate or even illegal behaviors. Of course, as even these people themselves know, none of these accusations has any basis in reality. When I was first appointed Minister of Antiquities Affairs, I thought my tenure might be very short, given the political situation. I did not care; I was only glad that the antiquities service had finally been given independence, and would no longer be under the Ministry of Culture. However, these attacks have convinced me that it is important for me to stay, so that I can continue to do everything in my power to protect Egypt's cultural heritage. I have written to Egypt's attorney general, asking him to look into some of the false accusations that have been made against me. I believe that addressing these issues will help stabilize the Ministry of Antiquities Affairs.
One of the comments to the New York Times report suggests Hawass' latest statements are really just a ploy to encourage his supporters in the archaeological community to beg him to stay. It will be interesting to see if Western archaeologists take the bait.