Hawass Criticized for use of King Tut Chair in Fashion CommercialPosted: April 19, 2011
Less than a week after being reinstated as Minister of Egyptian Antiquities (after being fired for mishandling the looting of egyptian museums), Zahi Hawass is under fire for using priceless artifacts to promote his new American clothing line.
From Ahram Online:
Several newspapers and magazines claimed that the model of the clothing line used the Tutankhamun’s chair and bench in the photo shoot, which is a major no-no. The idea of using the already delicate ancient artefacts as a prop creates an uproar in the professional archaeology community, as the artefacts are so precious they are transported and kept under strict environmental conditions.
But no worries, turns out that the chair used in the photo shoot was merely a replica on display at the King Tutankhamun exhibition in Times Square which ended in January.
On his part, James Weber, the American photographer who took the photos confirms in his interview with Danny Ramadan on the Art in Revolution blog that none of the authentic objects were touched in the shoot and the chair and the bench used were replicas. “We never would have sat a model down in a 3000 year-old artefact,” Weber asserts in the blog, adding that all the artefacts, such as the chairs in question were protected under glass.
Weber pointed out that some of the images were doctored, for instance, he superimposed two pictures in one with computer tricks: one of a hieroglyphic wall and, separately, posed the model as if she were resting her foot on it. He also mentioned that Hawass did not attend the shooting, which was in New York.
Sounds to me like people weren’t too pleased with Hawass’ return to Antiquities Ministry and were looking for an excuse to start a ruckus. Hawass: 1, Muckrakers: 0
The clothes are sort of what you would expect an Egyptologist to wear– its a little Indiana Jones-y. Not bad.