Friday, December 28, 2007

Quick! Hide your pyramids

Guardian Unlimited

Entertaining piece about the reports that Egypt is planning to copyright its ancient heritage, written by Guardian staff news writer Maev Kennedy.

Egypt wants to copyright its ancient monuments and artefacts. Museum shops, garden centres and trinket stalls beware...

I'm very worried about our sarcophagus. It's basalt and brass, remarkably heavy for its diminutive size, clearly displayed on our bookshelf, and I anticipate the arrival of Zahi Hawass into our living room at any moment.

Acquired for 15p at a parish jumble sale, I believe it to be a 1920s souvenir manufactured in Egypt rather than a western colonialist rip-off of Dr Hawass's ancestral heritage, but that may not save us. The head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities is a large man with a short temper, and things may get nasty.

When not leading excavations, opening exhibitions, or belabouring the British Museum for not sending him the Rosetta Stone to display in one of the clutch of new museums he's building in Cairo, he has now pledged to go after anyone, anywhere in the world, in search of copyright payments for replicas of Egypt's ancient monuments or museum pieces.

Although such a provision is apparently likely to become law, as so often with Dr Hawass's pronouncements it's not clear how much any of this is serious, and how much a display of public huffing and puffing.

See the above page for the full story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hawass is a bag of wind, that every so often it empties. In love with himself, he seeks every oportunity to show off.