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News Flash: Hawass Reappointed as Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities

Zahi Hawass meeting at the end of Februrary with young archaeologists representing the protesters

When I commented on Monday that Zahi Hawass was “still issuing statements on his website as if he were in charge,” maybe he knew something that I didn’t: He essentially WAS in charge (or was about to be).

No word on his own website yet, but the Middle East News Agency (MENA), owned by the Egyptian government, has broken the news (in Arabic) that Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf today reappointed Hawass to his pre-revolution post of Minister of Antiquities.

Al-Ahram and Agence France-Presse (AFP) have posted English-language versions of the story here and here.

AFP writes:

Hawass’ appointment is likely to anger pro-democracy activists who have
been calling for the cabinet to purged of all old regime elements.

But it is also likely to help with coordination of efforts to protect endangered archaeological sites. Looters took advantage of the post-revolution chaos and leadership vacuum after Hawass stepped down.

It remains to be seen whether Hawass, returned to power, will take seriously the recent criticisms of his policies and practices, including concerns voiced by young protesters (scroll down) about allegedly restrictive practices for hiring archaeologists.

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