According to Zahi Hawass, as adamantly reiterate in his blog, the damage to the objects in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo has been minimal and is all reparable. He bitterly denies contradicting reports from the museum’s former director, Dr. Wafaa el-Saddik, who Hawass snidely points out was safely asleep in Germany when the looting occurred. Perhaps the most interesting comment Hawass makes is not regarding the museum or the safety of its artifacts but the politics of the Egyptian people.
“In my recent interview with the BBC, I made it clear that all Egyptians, with no exception, are for democratic, constitutional, and economic reforms. However, in these very critical moments of Egypt’s history, I believe that President Mubarak is capable of insuring a peaceful and democratic transition of power; especially since he has announced that he would not seek re-election. I also would like to remind everybody that Mubarak is a decorated war hero, and should be allowed to leave his office in dignity. I say that as an Egyptian who honors the war heroes of this country, but not as a cabinet member.”
It is not surprising that Hawass, who has risen to Minister of Antiquities, under the auspices of the Mubarak regime would support his benefactor in these tumultuous times but it is indicative of the pervasive presence of the government in every aspect of society. Does the extremity of the political crisis in Egypt make it appropriate for a steward of art and culture to be overtly commenting on the outcome of these clashes?