The Egyptian Government is alleging that former antiquities Pharaoh Zahi Hawass was engaged in a scheme to waste public funds and steal antiquities. See http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/38308/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Indiana-Jones-faces-charges.aspx
It's a bit hard to tell from this article, but it seems that the Egyptian prosecutor is alleging that Hawass and the wife of Egypt's deposed President Mubark were skimming profits from a travelling exhibit and that Hawass was receiving unauthorized payments from the National Geographic Society.
Will the US Justice Department be as aggressive investigating allegations of public corruption potentially involving US archaeologists as it has been in tracking down allegedly stolen Egyptian antiquities?
Monday, April 2, 2012
Hawass Involved in Illegal Scheme to Turn Egyptian Antiquities into Cash?
Posted by Cultural Property Observer at 10:28 AM
Labels: corruption, Egypt, stolen antiquities, Zahi Hawass
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This sort of allegation is endemic in countries like Egypt. It's designed to harass, rather than to deal with corruption. We need to remember Zachariah Goneim, driven to suicide by similar and false allegations after he opened the pyramid of Sekhemkhet and found it empty, thereby embarassing Nasser.
While I hesitate to appear unduly enthusiastic in support of the former Pharaoh of Egyptian antiquities, these charges smack of political payback with a large side of anti-Americanism.
As I recall, when the corruption rumors were first reported, the allegation was that the National Geographic Society was a "Zionist" organization--hardly the sort of thing that inspires confidence in the veracity of the charges.
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