Tuesday, October 29, 2013

National Geographic scrutinized for payments to Hawass

Tut-Tut: Did Nat Geo Bribe Egypt’s Famed Indiana Jones?



US investigates National Geographic over ‘corrupt payments’ to Egypt's keeper of antiquities
by David Usborne


Zahi Hawass has a very controversial past, which includes relentless self-promotion and close ties to the dictatorial Mubarak regime. He is not widely admired either in archaeological circles, or among collectors' rights advocates, as these two posts reveal:



Now it appears that significant reason exists to question whether the financial arrangements between the National Geographic Society and Zahi Hawass were improper, and could be interpreted as de facto bribery of a foreign government official.

The details of these arrangements are complex and unclear. However, the fact that they are now being investigated as possible criminal violations of U.S. law indicates that legal constraints upon payments to foreign government officials ought to be comprehensively reviewed and strengthened.

Whether or not NGS payments to Zahi Hawass were criminal in nature as remains to be determined, they present an appearance of impropriety and a blot upon the distinguished record of the National Geographic Society.



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