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September 01, 2003

All Zahi, all the time

Yes Paul, that tag-line is to commemorate your favourite Egyptologist! This rambling, peculiar article from Egypt Today has something to say about Zahi Hawass, "secretary general" of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities though it is difficult to say just what it is. Hawass claims an Independent article reporting his argument with British Museum officials was overblown:

Hawass' June request to the British Museum in London for a loan of the Rosetta Stone for a three-month period to mark the 100th anniversary of Cairo's Egyptian Museum also created international headlines. The four-foot-tall slab that opened the door to understanding ancient Egyptian writing is one of the British Museum's most valued pieces. Hawass claims that he had yet to make a formal request for the piece, and in fact only mentioned it casually to the director of the British Museum, Dr. Neil MacGregor, at a recent function in Britain.

But the London press turned positively giddy, blowing the chat between two colleagues out of proportion. "The Independent [one of the United Kingdom's major daily newspapers] went crazy, as if I were saying to the British Museum that they must give the Rosetta Stone back to Egypt," Hawass says.

I have no difficulty imagining the Independent worked itself into a paroxism of anti-anything fervour given nihilistic anti-Western posturing is the Independent's only editorial position. But to imagine Hawass would not do anything to claim the Rosetta Stone for his fiefdom beggars belief.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 1, 2003 09:07 AM


I no longer watch programs about Egypt anymore just in case Zahi Hawass appears. I am well and truly sick of seeing him on television.

Posted by: Steve Martinovich at September 1, 2003 02:00 PM

Ahhh, it isn't just me...

Posted by: Paul Jané at September 1, 2003 10:27 PM