The Egyptian press announced last week that Mohamed Abdel Fattah, the former head of the antiquities sector of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, has been named the council’s secretary general. Abdel Fattah takes over the position long held by the flamboyant and controversial Zahi Hawass,* who was ousted as Egypt’s antiquities chief in a cabinet reshuffle in late July.
Unlike Hawass, who was named minister of state for antiquities in the waning days of the Mubarak regime, Abdel Fattah will not hold a cabinet position, since Egypt has returned the antiquities council to its former status as the country’s chief antiquities body. Abdel Fattah told the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm that he aims to resolve lingering disagreements among the council’s leadership and root out corruption.
*Hershel Shanks, “Egypt’s Chief Archaeologist Defends His Rights (and Wrongs),” BAR, May/June 2011.