Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hawass Resigns

The New York Times reports that Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass has resigned his post, along with Egypt's Prime Minister, after listing for the first time dozens of sites that have been looted during the unrest related to Egypt's popular revolt. See

In resigning, Hawass attacked former colleagues who had criticised him.

Hawass' list of looted sites includes storerooms associated with the Met's digs in Dahshur, near Cairo. See

The Met's Director issued a statement calling on Egyptian authorities to do a better job in protecting archaeological sites in the country.

Hawass, the face of Egyptian archaeology, has been a controversial figure. On one hand, he helped popularize it and ensure that more Egyptian archaeologists worked on Egyptian sites. On the other hand, his heavy-handed repatriation efforts did not exactly promote cultural exchange, and even Egyptian archaeologists finally turned against him due to his dictatorial and credit stealing ways.

It is unclear whether Hawass' resignation will end any investigations of his alleged misconduct in office or instead encourage them further.

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