- Life Style
During Tuesday's session in the People's Assembly, Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni and Ahmed Ezz, the secretary for organizational affairs at the National Democratic Party, tussled over a draft law on preserving antiquities.
The minister of state for legal affairs and parliamentary councils, Moufid Shehab, had proposed that Article 8 of the draft law--which bans trade in antiquities without written approval from the Supreme Council of Antiquities--be changed so that anyone in possession of an antiquity will have to inform the antiquities council of such a fact within a year of the new law coming into force. Ezz objected to the proposal, saying that most Egyptians do not know what constitutes an antiquity in the first place.
Fathi Sorour, People's Assembly speaker, postponed discussion on the contentious article until the rest of the articles of the bill have been debated.
Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that two articles of the bill--Article 2 on the definition of antiquity and Article 8 concerning the penalty for antiquity smuggling--had been referred back to People's Assembly committees to study. He added that the continuing theft of antiquities proves that the current law has not deterred thieves.
Farouk Hosni said he would not allow the passing of a law that allows internal trade in antiquities.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.