Egypt's minister of state for antiquities sworn in

14:18, April 05, 2011      

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Egypt's Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawaas was sworn in on Monday before chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

After the constitutional oath, Hawass discussed with Tantawi about the mechanisms of developing the newly appointed ministry and methods of regaining the stolen monuments from abroad, official MENA news agency reported.

He also pledged to remove all encroachments on antiquities' lands and continue establishment of the suspended national projects.

Hawass became secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities in 2002. He was appointed minister of antiquities on Jan. 31 this year in Ahmed Shafiq's government during massive protests that swept Egypt for 18 days and forced former President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

After days of demonstrations on Jan. 25, there were calls for the separation of the antiquities sector from the Ministry of Culture. He had been recently appointed the post by the current interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.

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