Hawass will lecture in Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass - YOUM7 (Archive)
By RANY MOSTAPHA

CAIRO: The Oklahoma City Museum of Art announced that world-renowned Egyptian archaeologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass will deliver a lecture “The Pyramids, Mummies and Cleopatra: Recent Discoveries” about Egypt’s recent archaeological discoveries on May 14.

“Hawass is the leading figure in Egyptian archaeology and his appearance at the museum will be an opportunity not to be missed,” museum president and CEO E. Michael Whittington said in a news release.

The lecture is part of the museum’s James C. Meade Friends’ Lecture Series, which aims to enrich lives through the visual arts. It features curators, critics, and cultural figures that educate people with perspectives in the visual arts.

Following the lecture, Hawass will sign his latest book, “Discovering Tutankhamun.”

“The tickets of the Wednesday lecture sold out,” marketing and communications manager Ralph Cornelius said and added that the lecture will be broadcasted simultaneously for free in the museum’s Founders’ Hall.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art offers a number of lectures, talks, and performances throughout the year including special exhibitions on view.

Hawass was awarded a doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and received the Egyptian state award of the first degree for his work in the Sphinx restoration project.

He was selected as one the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2006 and was the subject of a reality television series in the United States named “Chasing Mummies.” His adventures were aired on the History Channel in 2010.

In early April, Hawass was acquitted of illicit gaining and money laundry charges in the case that was filed against him by a number of Ministry of Antiquities employees who claimed he stole and sold antiquities abroad, Al-Ahram reported.

His lawyer proved that Hawass has no bank accounts abroad and that sources of his income were from the 43 books he wrote and published and the lectures he delivered abroad.

In October, Washington-based National Geographic was investigated over corrupt payments to Hawass, which represent a violation on the U.S.’s strict laws on payments to officials of foreign governments in contracts.

The accusations were related to Hawass’ role in granting National Geographic a constant access to the Egypt’ top archaeological sites, including the Great Pyramids of Giza, Tutankhamun’s tomb, and the mummy that contributed to the Channel’s widespread popularity.

The accusations claimed that National Geographic bribed Hawass $80,000 – $200,000 a year, according to Vocative news website.

The Justice Department however declined to confirm the investigation according to the Independent.co.uk.

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