A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zahi Hawass Fights Back

Since my posting late last week, Zahi Hawass has found himself in even more controversy, with an old court case resulting in a fine and a one-year sentence. But it now appears that the threat of jail time has been lifted, and Hawass has moved to defend himself on hiws website.

He has also been quiick to defend himself against the outrage provoked by those photos of models for the "Zahi Hawass collection" posing in front of antiquities of King Tut-related antiquities. (See my links on Friday.) Hawass clarifies:
Unfortunately, stories and rumors have recently been going around about this project. In October of last year, the design company had a photo shoot in the King Tut exhibit in New York City to create advertisements. Now, months later, stories about this photo shoot are circulating, claiming that it happened in the Egyptian Museum, and that they had a model sit on actual antiquities. I can say firmly that of course none of this is true. It was, in fact, shot in New York City, at the King Tut exhibit there and nowhere near Cairo, and the photographer and crew showed the utmost respect for the antiquities there. I have never been in contact with this photographer or his crew; they were hired by the design company, but I know they at no time touched any of the artifacts or used flash photography.  They used replicas for some shots and also used Photoshop in some images.  The museum’s security was with them at all times to ensure the safety of the objects. It makes me sad that people are willing to believe such rumors, and I hope that the clothing line’s critics will understand that the intention of this project is for the good of the children.
 So they weren't taken in the Egyptian museum, at least. 

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