Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Will Egypt's Military Coup Pave the Way for Zahi Hawass' Return to Power?
The Egyptian military has followed the old example of Turkey's Generals to take power from the inept, sectarian Egyptian President, Morsi. Like their (now weakened) Turkish counterparts, it appears that Egypt's Generals hope to restore "order" before allowing for a new Presidential election. There is plenty of room to debate the rights and wrongs here, but this is a blog about cultural property issues, not Egyptian politics per se. However, politics certainly does often intrude into such issues, so let me be the first to ask whether this military coup will pave the way for Zahi Hawass to return as Egypt's antiquities pharaoh. Zahi was a favorite of the Mubarak regime, but that affiliation did him no good in Revolutionary Egypt. It now remains to be seen whether the military will view Hawass as a charismatic asset to restore order to Egypt's beleaguered antiquities establishment (and bring in those tourist dollars!) or a corrupt and confrontational relic from the still discredited past. Personally, I'm betting we'll be saying "He's back" before long.