Friday, March 4, 2011

Hawass and the Egyptian Museum Gift Shop

The "Talking Pyramids" blog reports on former Antiquities Minister Hawass' efforts to steer a lucrative contract for the Egyptian Museum book shop to a company for which he was a director. The report details his efforts to undercut a competitor, violation of contracting procedures and refusal to follow a court order. See At a minimum, the report, which admittedly is based on the account of the competitor for the franchise, suggests a troubling conflict of interest.

In any event, all this again suggests to me that US Federal Prosecutors should look into what actually happened to the millions of US tax dollars and franchise fees that were supposed to go to support Egyptian archaeology. If corruption was indeed rampant at the Mubarak era SCA as has been alleged, one has to also conclude it likely that substantial monies intended for archaeology actually were used for private gain.

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