Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More re troubles that caused leadership change at the SCA

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

Abdel-Fattah told Al-Ahram Weekly that his resignation did not stem from fear of the protests, but rather the contrary.

"My resignation is not from floundering or cowardice, but I cannot direct the SCA in this form," he said. He added that he was only given the authority to process the SCA's day-to-day work , but not to appoint temporary staff or pay salaries.

"The SCA's financial situation is really critical and no one helped me," he said.

Abdel-Fattah accused Egypt of abandoning its antiquities sector and leaving it in a desperate state, despite what archaeology had done for the country over the years.

He went on to say that the SCA was in debt to the tune of LE750 million to construction companies responsible for restoration work at several sites. It had also borrowed LE61 million from banks to pay the salaries of SCA employees, in addition to a further LE350 million from the government, which will increase to LE400 million after the addition of benefits.

"How can I pay all these debts?" Abdel-Fattah asks. "I don't even have enough money to pay for the restoration work and the delayed salaries."

Amin, the SCA's new head, is the former director of the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department.

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