On Sunday, Zahi Hawass confirmed that he had officially stepped down from his long-held post as Egypt's Minister of Antiquities. Hawass, who has been closely aligned with the deposed government of former-Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak, has faced allegations of smuggling antiquities abroad on behalf of Mubarak and members of his family. Later, Hawass said in an interview posted on his blog that he will most likely not return to any newly formed Egyptian Cabinet if invited. In the interview, Hawass rebuffs the allegations of smuggling, attributing them to "crooks in the Antiquities department" who would want to defame him. The former Antiquities Minister called for the return of armed guards to vulnerable archaeological sites, many which apparently have been attacked by looters in recent weeks. Apart from that, Hawass does not say much about what else can be done to ensure the security of Egypt's rich cultural heritage. He adds that he "cannot work in this mess" and that he will come back only when there is stability.
Hawass, who has styled himself as "Egypt's Indiana Jones," seems to have resigned right when Egypt's cultural heritage needs him the most.