sábado, 5 de diciembre de 2009

Zahi Hawass, Secretario del Consejo Supremo de Antigüedades de Egipto ha sido nombrado Vice Ministro

There is a rule in Egypt that when a government official reaches a certain age, they retire. Therefore I was planning to retire next May. There are many good people at the Supreme Council of Antiquities who have experience and whom I hope could do a good job protecting Egypt´s history. However, I was concerned that the government would decide to appoint someone from the University to fill my position, who did not have experience in archaeology. Such a person might be impressed by the glory of the job and not focus on the monuments, and all the projects I have initiated would be abandoned.

Although this worried me, I was planning my life after the SCA. I was planning to have a new office with all of my books, where I could continue writing. I would continue to give lectures and travel all over the world, and also continue my excavations at Saqqara and the Valley of the Kings. But then President Mubarak called me on the phone to ask me when I am really retiring. He said he would appoint me the Vice Minister of Culture, which would mean that I would not have to retire next year, as Ministers and Vice Ministers in Egypt have no set age for retirement.

This would give me the opportunity to continue my work, especially the new museums I am building. I would have more time to finish the Akhenaten Museum, the Civilization Museum, the Sohag Museum, the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria, and many other museums I want the world to see. I would also have the opportunity to finish the site management plan I began, to preserve pharaonic sites, Jewish synagogues, Coptic churches, and Islamic mosques. However, the most important thing I wish to continue is the training programs I have initiated. I am training the museum personnel, to teach them how to run the new museums. I also want to continue a training program for archaeologists, to teach them about site management, what it means and how they can use it to preserve the sites.

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