Zahi Hawass doubled down on a dictator — and lost

Why was Zahi Hawass — a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence — fired on Sunday as Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities?

Here’s one small, but telling, reason: On February 6, 2011, Hawass appeared on the BBC to deliver a passionate defense of Hosni Mubarak, who, at the time, was days away from being forced to step down as the President of Egypt.

“[Hawass] was the Mubarak of antiquities,” said Nora Shalaby, an activist and archaeologist. “He acted as if he owned Egypt’s antiquities, and not that they belonged to the people of Egypt.”

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