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Zahi Hawass fired as Egypt's antiquities minister

The world's most famous living archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, has been fired as Egypt's antiquities minister.

Hawass, 64, was removed on the weekend as part of a cabinet shuffle that saw 11 other ministers lose their jobs in response to rising protests calling for a thorough purge of officials formerly associated with President Hosni Mubarak.

Hawass, long a staple on Discovery Television, was named secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in 2002. The S.C.A. oversees Egypt's ancient artifacts and sites and controls access to them in addition to approving touring exhibitions like King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs hosted by the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2009-2010.

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Hawass was given full ministerial standing by Mubarak shortly before the president's ouster in February this year. He resigned on Mar. 3, only to be reinstated by the end of the month.

Hawass's interim replacement is fellow Egyptologist/university professor Abdel-Fattah el-Banna.


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