Inventory of Artefact Storehouses Throughout Egypt Begins

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Inventory of Artefact Storehouses Throughout Egypt Begins

Post by Winged Isis »

The words stable-doors and horses come to mind.....but better late than never, I guess. :urm:

Antiquities ministry starts inventory of artefact storehouses throughout Egypt

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 22 Jan 2019

In an effort to protect Egyptian antiquities stored in archaeological galleries, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has launched a campaign to make an inventory of all store galleries in archaeological sites around Egypt.
The galleries consist of three types of storages; museological storehouses, subsidiary storehouses, and those belonging to archaeological missions.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the committee in charge of the inventory campaign, established in 2017, has inventoried 34 museological storehouses in early January and has found no missing artefacts.

The ministry started yesterday an inventory of the subsidiary storehouses and those of archaeological missions that had not been opened or cataloged for several years.

Among these is a mastaba in Saqqara that was used as a store gallery and had not been inventoried since 1997.

Upon entering the mastaba, the committee found evidence of attempts to remove some of the iron beams from the metal ceiling of the mastaba’s open court. The door of the mastaba was closed and sealed with stamps marked 1997.

The committee has reported the attempted break-in to the Tourism and Antiquities Police and will continue with the inventory procedures to check if there are any missing objects.

Waziri asserted that the ministry will continue to inventory all antiquities galleries periodically as part of efforts to protect and preserve Egypt’s ancient artefacts.


http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent ... vmvSb4LUHg


Carpe diem! :le:

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Re: Inventory of Artefact Storehouses Throughout Egypt Begin

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Thanks Winged Isis. Will post in full at another time but this project is now in its 19th year, buckets of western money thrown at it, near certified idiots employed on it and mad choices on obscure and irrelevant Australian software abandoned after several years with a zero result. There has been more forward thrusting but with less satisfaction than a brothel.

All the Great and the Good have their DNA over this over 2 decades but they've used white king to avoid responsibility. Even now they refuse in this 3rd or 4th or 5th attempt to do the obvious - talk to similar others and learn from their mistakes, start slow, keep it simple and very clear and build complexity as you go.

The simple point is that the Government has no general or specific idea of its holdings in museums, universities, government offices, the private homes of prominent persons or the score of storage areas located, generally, in the middle of nowhere. There is no inventory of Tahrir and therefore, probably, no inventory of GEM. No partial inventory contains even basic descriptions let alone photos. Therefore any thefts cannot be detected let alone pursued on the basis of a description of it given to Interpol.

The responsible minister exploded in public about 2 years ago and said there were 33,000 objects missing from Tahrir. If he is prepared to go public with this figure its reasonable to assume the real figure is much larger.https://aawsat.com/english/home/article ... re-missing. How this fool could know there were 33,000 missing if he didn't know the total is beyond me. How could you know how much was stolen from your bank account if you didn't know the previous balance and all the approved negative transactions?

The Supreme Antiques employ around 77,00 people including approx 11,000 guards/police and do little work although the western police forces say they do a lot of stealing. Western reporters, even from the Smithsonian, have described the staff, based on their visual observation, as lazy and they mean the white collar middle class ones. The near absence of senior woman is not, in my opinion, unconnected with incompetence and corruption and I can provide some direct and indirect evidence of this.

When I get time I will post on this but it won't include verbatim dribble from the Tour Egypt website or extracts from Hawarr's propaganda site. My critics will say I'm being negative. I say find a single positive story of moderate scale in this area in 25 years. Just one and backed with evidence not just anecdote or conversation. Its a small thing to ask of an 'industry' which is vital to Egypt.

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Re: Inventory of Artefact Storehouses Throughout Egypt Begin

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In 1987 the Supreme Antiques published an official catalogue. The Egyptian Museum, Cairo : official catalogue / Mohamed Saleh and Hourig Sourouzian ; photographs Jurgen Liepe. At 286 pages any idiot, but not the Supreme Antiques, would have known it was miserably incomplete. Oddly it was published in Germany by the Antiques and not in the book center of the world – maybe there were no longer Egyptian printing presses for books.

Then and now there is no central list of storage sites and definitely no 5 or 10 year plan for maintenance, repair or enhanced security. There are small primary schools in the west with a better approach to their responsibilities and these ordinary people aren’t responsible for ‘world civilization’ or whatever rot is used to describe it.

As recent as 1996 you could buy minor antiquities stolen from the museum in Khan. Where these came from no one knows. A little bit earlier than this you could buy objects from the tahir Museum Basement and how this could have been done without knowing what was in the collection no one knows – you can’t get rid of objects unless you know what you have and you know what you have if you have no record of what you are selling. http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9606/18/eg ... index.html

It is incontestable that no great museum in the world nor any museum system in the world is so badly managed as Egypt from the point of view of security, record keeping repair and maintenance and systems.

A stark illustration of the lack of systems, lack of records on holdings and shocking management ad staff discipline are the events of 2011.

With all the theft and the mislaid, Hawass could never issue a list of what was stolen but just made spontaneous comments of believed individual cases of theft as in 2011 to UNESCO. Repeated requests from the UN about what was missing went unanswered as Hawass bleated about/diverted attention by, Nefertiti’s head in Berlin or some other rot and ignored the obvious on two fronts – one the theft was happening under his feet and had done so for a while and second the UNESCO treaty for the return of stolen objects dated only from the approval of that treaty and Egypt was one of the last countries to do so showing its stupidity and Hawass’s stupidity of it.

Lets be clear. There is no legal basis for anyone claiming return of anything stolen before that country signed the treaty.

How the ‘greatest archaeologist in the world’ could be so ignorant of international law may show you he’s a man who doesn’t care about the law – like other members of the Junta or he is really stupid in an area he claims world skills. http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9606/18/eg ... index.html

Shamelessly even Hawass’s own website can’t now give precise, or even general, numbers of objects in the museum. http://www.drhawass.com/wp/the-egyptian ... hi-hawass/

However in highly centralized, no delegations the ‘man’ knows everything, decides all and is responsible for all – except where its inconvenient to him.

When UNESCO arrived in March 2011 to offer assistance to deal with the pillage they were shown the door because “we are totally able to protect our monuments, and we don't need curatorship from anyone” (A former Secretary General of the Supreme Antiques). The truth is they weren’t able to protect and they had no idea what happened.

Actual numbers are irrelevant to some fools. In 2011 Hawass initially announced, infallibly, that nothing had been damaged or stolen. He lied or was a fool who ignored all the first hand media of what was done and seen.http://traffickingculture.org/encyclope ... s-in-2011/. A few days later when he had sobered up he said 18 objects including 2 Tut statues were stolen (maybe they were just missing somewhere else). At other times he said 8. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/201 ... eum-looted. He later added 2 Roman Period Mummies to the lost list and said that all archaeological sites, storage areas and regional museums were absolutely safe and that this was a ‘fact’. As usually his statements of fact were wrong. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-rose ... 22605.html.

The truth as everyone knew, was that at least Saqqara. Tell al Basta, Dashur and AbuSir were few of many looted and the records for what they held were worse than nothing. Hawass stuck to his story that there was nothing wrong and organized high level committees to visit the sites (as if Scotland Yard or the FBI would use committees to determine the facts) with dozens of photographers. He later changed his story about site break ins. http://www.eloquentpeasant.com/2011/02/ ... an-museum/

At the end of 2011 the sites and regional museums had still not reported on their inventories – whatever that means, I think in this case their losses. https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... o-restart/

I think its fair to say this evidence showed that the antiquities system wasn’t managed at all it just floated, groped or staggered around as it always had.

Agence France went further and said “5697 cases of illegal digs, 1467 cases of illicit trading in antiquities, 130 attempts to smuggle antiquities abroad and at least 35 people have been killed in incidents connected to illegal digs, including 10 buried alive” as at 2012 – but what would they know. It would be a hard choice between who to believe – the French or Hawass – but I think the French win, by a whisker.

What actually happened in 2011 is hard to know, made worse by no subsequent public inquiry. One dark version of it is from Saddik, the then Director of Tahrir in her interview with Zeit a German newspaper (but not in the Egyptian newspapers). In summary she says, that Tahrir was an inside job, no objects are insured (are the buildings insured, its not clear), the Memphis Museum was looted, there were 160 security guards at Tahrir and ‘others’ including police and a deal of the later, and maybe the former, were kids who were conscripts (the military conscription system allocates the worst/least skilled to the police) and were worse than useless. https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/201 ... l-reports/. That the museum should be guarded normally by kids with no training and education and by general service police and guards on poor salaries and little knowledge of what they are guarding is a great achievement in saving money on guarding your biggest treasure. (a book review of the insanity and rip-off of the Museum under Hawass by Saddik – its beyond belief - https://www.coinsweekly.com/en/There-is ... 4?&id=2905 and http://www.arabnews.com/node/1203471/books)

Others published that 15 major archaeological sites, 10 storage facilities and 7 museums were pillaged. http://savingantiquities.org/wp-content ... pt-MoU.pdf. These others are the University of Pennsylvania who have had nothing to do with Hawass for decades.

The truest thing that can be said of 2011 or anything else to do with the Supreme Antiques is that the truth will never be known,

Hawass now contradicts himself in his own self regarding website and says he was greeted by an adoring crowd, the police were marvelous and nothing was stolen. What rot and lies, http://www.drhawass.com/wp/the-egyptian ... hi-hawass/. The crown booed and hissed him – they hated him – particularly his staff. On another occasion he said 70 items were damaged. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-12442863

Like all liars he can’t stick to one story and endlessly contradicts himself.

Blue Shield of Denmark seemed to be the only organization on top of the risks and what had actually and precisely happened in Cairo and at many other sites. By way of contrast Hawass, his staff, the police, the army, the Security Services, the thousands of Tourist Police, the site guards were all absent or incompetent. http://www.ancbs.org/cms/en/. If anything these events showed how broken the institutions were and how useless their personnel when placed under pressure. Blue Shield now has nothing to do with Egypt and would, in any case as an internationally funded NGO, be an illegal organization attracting Egyptian criminal provisions. All other countries welcome it.

What happened in and around the sites and museums is very odd because Hawass from 2002 has said theft and repatriation were his number one issues. Seems he did nothing in 9 years. http://www.e-c-h-o.org/ca_archives_repatriation.php. He also said he wanted to catalogue the holdings in all the ‘magazines’ owned by SCA in Egypt. Seems he didn’t do that either. http://www.e-c-h-o.org/ca_archives_repatriation.php ECHO is a dubious and bootlicking organization that seems now dead.

Work to repatriate and stop smuggling is carried on by Egyptian robots today who issue press releases that they have prevented a coin from King Farouk’s reign leaving the country and the like. The Supreme Antiques put this in their world-wide internet newsletter featuring their achievements. http://www.egyptologyforum.org/MOA/MoA_ ... nglish.pdf. Maybe they are unhinged. They also have the police searching ships to find 20th century Iraqi coins and an 18th century western walking stick. http://www.egyptologyforum.org/MOA/MoA_ ... nglish.pdf

These fifth rate Indiana Jones ‘achievements’ ignore the obvious – Egypt has no record of what it has and therefore no regular checking of that ‘inventory’ to work out what is stolen. Facilities are also insecure, management very slack and many staff have criminal skills and contacts.

For reasons that will become clear a proper inventory must include precise photographs of the highest technical/artistic quality. One, these are necessary to track stolen objects or auctions, second they are useful in a web site, of which Egypt alone in the world had none, which show the collections to stimulate interest and attract visitors to museums so they know what they will see.

To be continued.

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Re: Inventory of Artefact Storehouses Throughout Egypt Begin

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Next The starting point is that the government says theft is beyond belief.

Their Minister said that there were 33,000 objects missing from the Tahrir/Supreme Antiques collection/storage. https://aawsat.com/english/home/article ... re-missing Without an inventory/list of holdings they wouldn’t know so the Minister is a fool and liar.

The evidence that its an inside job is clear – but not clear to the Supreme Antiques. Here is a data base of news items of looted Egyptian objects. Overwhelmingly the looting/theft activity is in Egypt, and with Ministry staff, and in the region. The Hawass rants about the decadent thieving West don’t fit the current and past facts and the local maladministration because Egypt and its brothers are doing most of the dirt. https://news.culturecrime.org/country/egypt.html

Attempts to do the simplest thing – an inventory have been pathetic, halting, stop-go, led by fools with no schools and delivered nothing – except US taxpayer money.

When Hawass screams for the return of British Museum thefts a journo should yell out – how would you know it isn’t already back? Why return something to a person who could loose it without knowing?

A database started in 2005. It wasn’t an initiative of Hawass. He ‘endorsed it’ contributed nothing to it and it was done by volunteers. Dr Janice Karim an archaeologist with no skills in databases or cataloging volunteered and she chose a useless software. No photographs were included. Students from the AUC also volunteered. It was all a bit academic because: “Since the database team, at that time, had no access to the museum’s register books, the volunteers could only enter information from the museum’s published catalogues.”.

That would be like doing a register/data base of the British Museum using only Thames and Hudson publications as a source – if you want to get it right you need to spend years going around all the objects recording their location, provenance etc and taking 6-8 high quality digital photographs.

The three handwritten register books (maybe 98 register books or 109, its unclear) date back a century and are falling apart and there is no published catalogue. None are complete and all overlap in content.

Obviously Hawass’s endorsement amounted to nothing.

At this point the Americans wandered off the reserve and started to digitally photograph (with no expert skills) some museum objects and photograph the old registers when their objective should have been using money to get Hawass to agree to a digital catalogue. All/most of the cataloguing work was still done by volunteers.

It also seems that they gave up entering data in the useless database they had selected and digitized the hard copy, crumbling paper registers. Makes no sense. Whether those old damaged registers could be clearly digitized should be doubted. Whether the paper registers were in French, English and Arabic is not clear. Whether the digitized registers could be searched by key words is doubtful. Whether the digitized register was linked to a photograph of the object is not clear. It fulfilled no purpose of relevance to other than the inbred and cash rich ARCE and staff that had little better to do than work on tasks they were not qualified for.

Something happened in 2008 but the American Research Centre in Egypt newsletter is incoherent

“This project, in which the resulting facsimiles were linked to their relevant object records in the new database, was completed in December 2008. By also including the conservation of the original books themselves, the project served to capture preserve and make available the irreplaceable information contained in these various manuscript sources.”
http://archive.arce.org/main/m/revoluti ... ian-museum

The project thus far is exactly what you would expect of an archaeologist – preserve the old, ignore the new and the living. In preserving the old registers we still have no workable system but I’m sure the New York archaeologist couldn’t care less and she is so loosly managed by the American funders that she can run amok. The Americans started by funding a register of 5,000 year old objects and now they are funding a document conservation project for 100 year old things.

Even though they may have digitized much/all (quality of photos unclear) the Museum is unlike thousands of other museums and does not give access to these images except in few cases.

You wonder what the objective of the digitization process was. No you don’t – you know.

In addition it is almost certain that the 100 year old registers contain mistakes, inaccuracies, statements overtaken by subsequent research, statements of unverified opinion. The major task is not to preserve them but revise, annotate, correct or reject them.

An no stage was there any person with high level IT/cataloging skills employed. Nor were there any people with skills in digitization/photographs. The whole project lacked persons with any relevant skills.

To be contiunued

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Re: Inventory of Artefact Storehouses Throughout Egypt Begin

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2. The American Research Center and USAID

Until 2009 there was no Collections Management department of the Tahrir Museum (probably funded by the American Research Centre in Egypt ARCE). Whether there is a collections management department in the scores of other museums is doubted. For example is there a single comprehensive catalogue of the Luxor Museum? In this gap Egypt leads the world.

(I’ve always been cautious about ARCE. Its rich, it plays to rich US donors, close to Hawass, vague about money and outcomes, Cairo staff that have been in jobs for ages, no stated objectives, no yearly business plan, no joint enterprises with other western funders, strangely distant relationships with high credibility archaeological missions and museums therefore and smells a bit like amateur hour/networking/high style/low content. Their reports/newsletters are badly written and sometimes incoherent which suggest poor thinking. The one who pulls the strings is alleged to be the cloudy chap who is a 4 decade mate of Hawass. Their large funding for small projects is only exceeded by staffing numbers that exceed all expectations and a budget for Luxor which is beyond belief. There is something wrong here. http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00KHC2.pdf).

Hawass’s ‘best mate’ the cloudy and astoundingly unproductive Lehrer of the Giza Plateau, site where he has worked for over 30 years, seems the contact man with ARCE and the super rich donors that drown it in money. The Mellon Foundation has been his huge donorfor more than 10 years. Their manager of 3 decades has now been forced out but the replacement looks naive and ‘easy pickings’.

In 2006 the jobless whites with no relevant skills got two grants (amount undisclosed) from the Mellon Foundation to establish a database. They selected some Australian software KE, (God save us) which is used by natural history museums but not by art galleries or any archaeological museum in the world. How they selected this software when none have experience in this area is beyond me. Was there a competitive tender? Any idiot would have called the British Museum or similar institution but Janice Kamrin (consultant to Hawass) and Gerry Scott (long term head of ARCE) knew better. Australia uses it but only to digitize births, deaths and marriages.

The objective at this stage got diverted again. The Mellon money was for a system to allow Joe’s to search the collection whereas the real work had been to register and describe the collection for staff and for security.

Here is what they said: “With this support, ARCE selected EMuseum (EMU), a collections management system created by KE Software, into which the original Filemaker system could be migrated. The project has been extremely successful: as of the end of 2010, over 160,000 object records had been added to the new database.” If this or more was ever done no one mentions it now – probably because, after all this work and money, they worked out that the software was as it said it was – births deaths and marriages.

Who was running/directing this project at this time is strangely avoided.

In his retirement the catalogue was not mentioned as one of Hawass’s achievements – indeed there seemed few/no specific achievements for his 14 years in Cairo and tens of millions of dollars – besides raising millions from rich Americans in San Francisco cocktail parties. http://archive.arce.org/m/news/u200

Failure extends beyond the database and Dr Scott and his friend Dr Kamrin claim to have spent lots of money to improve the skills of Egyptian registrars/administrators. I don’t think they have succeeded. http://archive.arce.org/main/m/training/museumtraining.

In 2007 they announced, in language barely rational, their big project funded by the US taxpayer to, amongst other things ‘develop and maintain a computerized collections management system in order to effectively track the Museum’s collection. Throughout this project, ARCE worked with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities to create the first registration and collections management department in Egypt, and has trained a core group of nine Egyptian registrars’

Here is a photograph from their magazine to their rich US donors showing how they are going about developing an inventory. It’s a joke and I don’t mean the kids but their managers – flashlights in the middle of the day, ‘data entry’ with a pencil on a hand held pad, no camera, no voice activated software etc. And they are proud of this because they are selling this image to rich benefactors to get more millions. I wonder how dark the unposed photographs are.

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Re: Inventory of Artefact Storehouses Throughout Egypt Begin

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As at 2011 the Griffith Institute at Oxford had prepared a 1,200 page document of the contents of the museum. It contains no photographs and no accession/unique identifier/location information. Whether the museum co-operated and what the purpose/use of it is not clear. There is little/no information on provenance or location of find which you would think basic. Maybe its another example of obsessional/aspergergery archaeologists doing their thing with little connection to the real world. http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/3cairo.pdf or maybe it was another truck of money.

A local ‘cheer squad’ body (personnel secret as is their source of funding and skills) announced ‘the first nationwide inventory of all known antiquities in Egypt’ in 2014. Can’t find any information that it was ever finished. (Hawass was quoted in a 2008 book that there had been no full inventory for 50 years and that only about 15% of the holdings of the Egyptian Museum were inventoried)
https://theantiquitiescoalition.org/pro ... tnerships/

A January 2016 iteration of this project, this time with different partners and with no mention of the possible previous two years of work from the local hearties, (if you have a good project then why not launch it several times and worry later about actually doing it) http://camd.org.au/egyptian-antiquities-database/ Again no finish date.

As at 2014, and after nine years of work, the inventory does not seem complete: http://www.arceoc.org/arce_accomplishme ... Registrars. No finish date either. Their work on digital images, if they did any, has been wasted because, unbelievably, the (Tahrir) Museum has no official web-site.

Given they don’t have a record of what objects they’ve got and no single record of the approved digs is it possible they don’t know other important things. Yes, It is possible that the SCA has no central inventory of its sites nor a register of the land it holds/owns. If so this means a 2000 Finish project to record this went off the rails. I think it did. http://archive.arce.org/files/resource/ ... y_2003.pdf. This project was also managed/mismanaged by the hapless American Research Council in Egypt and was not mentioned in the recent retirement ‘tributes’ of its long-time director. There is something about systems that is very un-Egyptian.

Theft of objects isn’t just about Egypt although one screamer thinks it is and doesn’t care about others in the region. Traffiking in loot from Syria has been rampant for the past 10 years and ISIS and others use it to fund their killing. Western intermediaries/gallery owners often Lebanese with 5 star galleries in Geneva, NYC and other places are key but it also seems that some of it is trafficked through Egypt and the police/Supreme Antiques do what they do best – little. Some of these items are worth high hundreds of thousands and low millions. Ali Aboutaam is still active in this trade even though he was convicted and jailed in Egypt for 15 years. Did not the Government try to extradite him or gain international enforcement of its verdict – probably they forgot. https://www.wsj.com/articles/prominent- ... 1496246740

Hawass failed in 2004 to take the most basic steeps to jail one of the biggest looters in the world. His fault - not the west’s and this chap has been on the streets since. Aboutam was also a looter of ancient European objects as part of the network that included a Medici and Sotheby’s. http://www.academia.edu/8401380/Phoenix ... ater_Again

I do not accept that important tasks can’t be done because of lack of resources. Total staffing is approximately 77,000 One book gives the staff for the West Bank in Luxor in 1998-1999. 196 guards, 115 conservators/restorers, 17 inspectors, 20 administrative staff, 150 engineers, (What would they do) and others. For those who know that administration is chaotic the permanent staff were paid by the Ministry of Finance not SCA – why? Luxorites wanting a job had to go to Cairo for an interview. Guards work/worked 24 hour shifts 6 to 6. The Modern Neighbors of Tutankhamun: History, Life, and Work in the Villages ...By Kees Van der Spek p224 - incredible detail on the disordered and obsessively detailed pay structures, how some work 1 hour a day and other hard to believe slackness. Its Stalinesque.

Staff skills in the Supreme Antiques are appalling or worse. SCA excavation teams at Luxor were noted for their roughness, lack of accurate documentation and the poor quality of their excavation reports (usually written in Arabic). Western teams thought they did a poor job. De Spek p230. It seems probable that most archaeologists employed by the SCA publish little/nothing in a refereed journal. Many are assigned other work or work that does little to challenge them or use their academic training. All of the SCA excavation teams work shorter formal hours than all of the western.

In 1999 one unnamed western archaeologist said:

“There is no reporting, there are no files for reports to be put into, there are no publications. What was published proved an embarrassment such as one report on a Roman site of only two pages, but accompanied by 50 pages of photos, four of that showing cigarette wrappers as evidence that the site was robbed” (how could such be evidence of robbery?)

In this period thefts seem to have been done by SCA staff the senior Luxor ones of whom may have received fake Phd’s from Eastern European governments in return for thefts.

Employment is not based on merit but blood, loyalty, marriage, bribery, debt, the suggestion of a powerful person, Qurna resident or a client. It is generally/invariably the case that western teams do not get to select their staff – the SCA do it. If western teams object the Chief Inspector may threaten to cancel their concession. The SCA usually gives Western teams more than they asked for.

The whole organization is so badly managed and staffed that a mere 10 year reform/change program would achieve little because all the players would want it to stay as it is.

Finally some new dirt on Hawass to add to the Himalaya already deposited.

Surprised to read the following from the Australian Government TV/Radio which has a very high reputation for integrity – unlike the person they write about.

The quote:
“Egyptian authorities have also been accused of having a hand in the smuggling process, including Dr Hawass. He was taken to court in relation to smuggling and corruption in 2013, but cleared of the charges.

"This is what weak people say, that officials were involved. There is no official involved in smuggling," he says.

A foreign archaeologist, who spoke to the ABC on condition of anonymity, said they suspected inspectors were involved.

"Sometimes I'm sure that inspectors are complicit, and the police are frequently complicit and in some cases the military is complicit because they fly things out in military planes," the archaeologist says.’ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-21/ ... m/10388394 October 2018. Walt Curnow is a Cairo-based journalist and former editor at Ahram Online who writes about Egyptian politics and culture.

Another story, or a small part of it, which dewy ‘happy days’ tourists should avoid reading to maintain their fixed grin.

It gets worse with poor kids and callous regard for human life.

"Children have been used primarily to reach small burial shafts and tunnels. Unfortunately, many children have lost their lives in the process," wrote Monica Hanna, an Egyptologist working with Egypt's Heritage Task Force, in a paper she published in the book "Countering Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods" (ICOM, 2015).

In fact, more than 25 children, employed by professional antiquities gangs, died last year (2014 or 15 under current law and order presidency) in shafts in Abusir el-Malek, Hanna told Live Science. Little of the money from the sale of artefacts goes to the children's families, Hanna said. Instead, most of it ends up in the pockets of antiquities dealers and middlemen, who smuggle it out of Egypt and into other countries, such as the United States. "Many of them [the middlemen] are part of the international mafia that smuggles drugs and arms in the region," Hanna said, according to her research and that of her colleagues.’ https://www.livescience.com/55687-child ... =hootsuite

If true, and Hanna has some credibility, its shocking and never talked about. It’s a long way away from the priority given to screaming about the return of Nefertiti and using morality as a justification for such. Related articles from a credible source on the hopeless mismanagement and corruption of the Supreme Antiques. https://culturalpropertynews.org/neglec ... han-theft/
If true, there should be criminal negligence charges brought against some powerful people to stop it now. All you need to do is find a policeman, public prosecutor and Egyptian court that believes in justice for the powerful – impossible.

Accessory to manslaughter might be a useful approach in a US court with a warrant to sieze the travelling Tut exhibition items as guarantee and their lodgment in a police cell. Embassy vehicles aren’t covered by the Geneva convention not are clothes at the dry cleaners or laundry. There are lots of options all with fabulous TV images. Schools could be pressured to expel the children of diplomats. Sounds just like the high risk case a young ambitious and publicity addicted lawyer might use to launch his/her career. Reggie Smith of Houston and many other lawyers would like to help if only because winning against the Government of Egypt in an international court/arbitration is easy and remunerative. https://www.kslaw.com/people/reginald-s ... ?locale=en. Pity jail sentences are hard to achieve.

And a finale on the creatures running the system:

Foreign archaeologists complain they sometimes can’t import the equipment they need, or export rock samples for analysis. Taking such samples to foreign laboratories is banned and, as a result, local digs are overlooked by international donors, who prioritise projects with access to the latest research techniques. “Bureaucracy is such a monster in Egypt,” said Giulio Lucarini, an archaeology professor whose digs are among those affected by the ban based in Cambridge.”
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/t ... Y352QtD.99 This is the greatest museum in the world publishing this.

‘Egypt’s cultural system is not only notoriously corrupt, but also strikingly neglectful of the millions of antiquities in the nation. The former head of the DHS ICE (US Immigration and Customs) HSI Art and Antiquity Investigations program, James McAndrew, has described how on a mission to return antiquities seized in the US to Egypt, he insisted on bringing the pieces to their actual final destination. There, he found not even the most basic of museum storage facilities, but a filthy shed (one of over 140) with a broken, unlocked door and floor cluttered with debris. Such disregard for the antiquities that Egypt invariably describes as “treasures,” is unfortunately all too common.
https://culturalpropertynews.org/neglec ... han-theft/

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