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Q: Dr. Hawass, for many years you have been the image of modern Egyptology. Why are you leaving now?
A: “I am leaving because of a variety of important reasons. The first reason is that, during the Revolution of January 25th, the Egyptian Army protected our heritage sites and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in the last 10 days the army has left these posts because it has other tasks to do. The group now in charge of the protection of these sites is the Tourist Police, but there are no Tourist Police to do this either. Therefore, what happens? Egyptian criminals, thieves (you know, in every revolution bad people always appear…), have begun to destroy tombs. They damaged the tomb of Hetep-ka at Saqqara, the tomb of Petah-Shepses at Abu Sir and the tomb of a person called Em-pi at Giza. They attacked a storage magazine at Saqqara and we do not yet know how many artifacts are missing; they opened two storage magazines at Giza; one tomb dated to the 19th Dynasty, the only one in the Delta in fact, was damaged at Ismaïlia; and a store at El-Qantara East has been broken into and looted for antiquities. People have begun to build houses and to excavate at night, everywhere, putting heritage sites all over the country at risk. I had to write a report and I sent it to the Director of UNESCO. That is why at the meeting of the Egyptian cabinet yesterday I had my speech prepared already and I said: “I cannot stay in Egypt and see antiquities being stolen when I cannot do anything to stop it!” This situation is not for me! I have always fought to return stolen artifacts to Egypt. I did fight Ahmed Ezz as well, the man in the Parliament, who was the most powerful man, because he wanted to allow antiquities to be sold in Egypt again.
Originally posted by Versa
It seems a shame to me that countries such as UK, USA, France, Germany, Australia etc cant send in forces solely to protect the World Heritage that's being forever damaged and lost
Originally posted by Kryties
reply to post by 13th Zodiac
I have to agree with this. I am not sorry to see him go but I question his motives in leaving in the first place. If this man had dedicated his life to 'protecting' Egypts treasures, this seems like a rather lame excuse for leaving office - particularly if he is as fanatical about the subject as he claims to be.
However, whatever the reason, I'm quite pleased to say good riddance to bad rubbish.
Originally posted by backinblack
reply to post by jexmo
Im completely with you on this! Is he just going to turn a blind eye to the destruction and theft of the artifacts left in these tombs after all these years?
Or just a clever lie to cover what HE takes with him ??
A site in Northern Sinai was destroyed when looters arrived with a loader.
· Looters have attacked Abydos nearly every night; illegal excavations and trenches, some as deep as five meters, have damaged the site.
· Reports of illegal construction have been reported near the pyramid of Merenre and the Mastaba Fara’un, near Saqqara.
Many sites, including Alexandria, Ismailia, Saqqara, Behaira, Sharqia, Abusir and Dahshur, have reported illegal excavations, some of which have taken place at night.