Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hawass Business Ties Raise Conflict of Interest Concerns

Today's New York Times has an interesting article that suggests that Zahi Hawass' star may finally be on the wane in Egypt. See

The article also exposes business ties between National Geographic and Hawass.

National Geographic has also actively sought so-called "emergency" import restrictions on Egyptian cultural artifacts on Hawass' behalf. See

But don't these business ties suggest a potential conflict of interest that should be investigated before such import restrictions are considered at all, let alone considered a "done deal" as Hawass himself has suggested?

"One hand washes another" has been long a staple of Egypt's corrupt political scene, but it should play no part in the State Department's decision making whether to clamp down on the import of Egyptian cultural goods by U.S. citizens.

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