Friday, May 26, 2006

Corporate sarcophagus irks Hawass (
Thanks very much to the U.S. graduate student who sent me links to the following minor controversy which blew up at a Chicago media preview: "A major U.S. sponsor of a traveling exhibit of Egyptian King Tutankhamen artifacts has been criticized for keeping a sarcophagus in its headquarters. The incident happened Wednesday at Chicago`s Field Museum during a media preview of 'Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,' which opens to the public Friday. During remarks from one of the show`s national sponsors, Randy Mehrberg, executive vice president of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., said he was standing in for CEO John Rowe, and that Rowe was such a fan of antiquities, he had a 2,600-year-old sarcophagus in his office. That infuriated Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt`s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the Chicago Tribune reported. 'I don`t think this is right,' Hawass said. 'An artifact like this is not supposed to be in an office or a home, but in a museum. How can he sponsor an exhibit like King Tut and keep an artifact like this in his office?' An Exelon spokeswoman told the Tribune the sarcophagus 'is something John owns personally and it was acquired in a legal manner.' " This is the entire piece on the Monsters and Critics website, but more details can be found at the Chicago Tribune site (free subscription required):


Anonymous said...

Sometimes the Chicago Tribune asks
registration, and the next time it
doesn't. Not sure how and what.

Anyhow, the quarrel reported above
ended by the executive giving the
sarcophagus to the Field Museum:


Anonymous said...

This contoversy may in itself be minor.

However, it does raise the big controversy of the relationship of the Kenneth Lay’s (and George W Bush’s) in this world, to art and science.

See more, including more links, here.

Anonymous said...

This begs the question: What right does Hawass have to make demands about a privately owned, apparently legally obtained artifact? Does private property have no meaning? Where will this stop? Hawass has already demanded the BMFA return a legally obtained artifact, now he is going after the private sector too.

kat newkirk