Archeologist decries relic destruction in Iraq

Mar 5, 2015

Dr. Zahi Hawass
Credit Provided / Cincinnati Museum Center

A world-famous archeologist who will speak in Cincinnati this week says learning about the past can lead to a good future.  Egyptologist Zahi Hawass says that's why it's important to keep uncovering history. 

He is among the archeologists and historians worldwide disturbed by the reports of ISIS fighters smashing antiquities at a museum in Mosul last week.

“We need to stand against all these terrorists.  The people who smash the monuments in Iraq, and in Syria, and in Libya,'' he says. "They are destroying our heritage."

Hawass is known in the archeology world for discovering a number of pyramids and tombs in Egypt, and starting a DNA database of mummies. 

Unrest in some parts of the Middle East should not scare Americans tourists and historians from the entire region, Hawass says.  Since the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the nation is a lot more stable and Egypt needs the visitors, he says.

“There was 123 Americans came to Egypt to visit," Hawass says. "And I met them last week.  They had the best time in their lives.  They were crying on the last day of their visit. 

“We need people to come.  Because, we need money to restore the Egyptian monuments.  They belong to everyone, not just Egyptians,” Hawass says.

Hawass is scheduled to speak Thursday evening at the Freedom Center.  The Mystery of the Pyramids and the Sphinx: Recent Discoveries begins at 6:30.