Antiquities head reappointed

Daily Star Egypt Staff
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Zahi Hawass, Egypt s voluble and media-savvy chief archeologist, dubbed the King of the Pharaohs, was reappointed head of the country s top antiquities body on Monday. The decision made by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif came as no surprise after four years of high-profile efforts by Hawass to rejuvenate Egyptology in his home country. When I arrived, it was a complete jumble, I wanted to put our house in order, he told AFP. We will continue with the work already undertaken, of opening new museums and the retrieval of pieces taken out of Egypt illegally. The culture ministry, to which the supreme council of antiquities is affiliated, also praised Hawass constant efforts to return to Egypt major artifacts from collections around the world. During his time as secretary general of the council, Hawass expelled what he called 35 amateur foreign archeologists, whom he famously branded pyramidiots several years ago, who thought they were on conquered territory, he said. Known the world over for his frequent appearances on U.S. television and his trademark Indiana Jones hat, the controversial archeologist has earned several nicknames such as King of the Pharaohs or Antiquities Czar. Hawass even has an Internet fan club and was one of two Egyptians on Time Magazine s list of 100 most influential people in the world this year, alongside Al-Qaeda number two Ayman Al-Zawahiri. The 59-year-old is in theory due to retire next year when he turns 60, but his entourage has not ruled out an extension to his mandate. AFP

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