Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, banished Beyonce from the pyramids for her “rudeness” while giving her a private tour.
“Most people I take on tours are very nice and we become friends,” Hawass told The Independent. “But this lady…She said she would come at 3pm but she came late. I said, ‘You have to say I'm sorry I'm late.’ But she didn’t open her mouth.”
Hawaas said that he brought a photographer and found that Beyonce also brought her own photographer and a personal guard. He added that when his photographer started taking photos, her guard stopped him impolitely, saying “No! Stop!”
“In that case since you almost hit my photographer and you are not polite - out! I am not giving you the privilege of having you on my tour. I said Beyoncé was stupid and I left,” Hawass added.
Though Hawass is considered the “go-to guy” for Egyptian antiquities, he is known for his abrasive personality and he admits he has made enemies.
“People attack me because I am famous. When I took President Obama to Giza, the camel driver recognised me and he asked, ‘But who is the friend of Hawass?’ When I gave a lecture at your Dome of the Millennium 1,700 came to hear me. Bill Clinton got 700,” he told The Independent.
This is not the first incident that Hawass has “banned” someone from a monumental site. He also declared that Joann Fletcher, the Egyptologist who presented a BBC series on life and death in the Valley of the Kings, could no longer work in Egypt because she did not play by the rules.
“She came on an expedition and claimed to have found the mummy of Queen Nefertiti. But she broke the rules by making a Discovery Channel show instead of writing first to the Supreme Council of Antiquities. So she cannot work here. And this mummy was nothing to do with Nefertiti,” he told The Independent.
Hawass was removed from his position of the Minister of Antiquities in Egypt following the 25 January revolution after allegations of corruption were levelled against him. The US Department of Justice is also investigating National Geographic, for fees that Hawass reportedly charged for the organization’s constant access to Egypt’s antiquities.