Friday, July 15, 2011

Lifeline for Zahi and Justification for "Emergency Import Restrictions"?

There is nothing like a good indictment to remind Egyptians about Zahi Hawass' successes in seeking the cooparation of US law enforcement to effectuate the return of Egyptian cultural treasures. See

Yet, many Egyptians will not forget the Mubarak ties or the charges of high handed conduct and corruption leveled against Hawass and his ministry.

And what better than an indictment to justify so-called emergency restrictions on Egyptian cultural artifacts? It was only recently that seizures of artifacts from auctions based on the secret Medici archive were used to help justify yet another extension of a MOU with Italy and its expansion to include certain ancient coins. See

Yet, the activities complained about in the indictment against Mousa Khouli et al. date from 2009, not 2011. And, they do nothing to explain how private archaeological groups with professional and financial interests with Hawass and his ministry were able to gain some commitment from the US Government that such restrictions were a "done deal."

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