Antiquities minister has clothing line

April 19, 2011 at 8:06 PM
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CAIRO, April 19 (UPI) -- Zahi Hawass, Egypt's colorful and controversial antiquities minister, is under fire for lending his name to a clothing line.

The Zahi Hawass line, featuring clothing suitable for the well-dressed archaeologist or outdoor man, went on sale at Harrods, the London department store, this month, The New York Times reports. The catalog promises the clothes will take the wearer "back to Egypt's golden age of discovery in the early 20th century."

In Egypt, where Hawass is fighting a one-year jail term for misconduct involving the bookstore in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, critics say the clothing trivializes and commercializes the country's archaeological heritage. There are also people who believe ancient artifacts were used as props for ads and the catalog.

Lora Flaugh, a designer involved in the photographs, said they were taken at the Tutankhamen exhibit currently in New York. She told the Times the model posed with a replica of Tutankhamen's throne in front of display cases of real antiquities.

Hawass said he is donating any income he receives from the clothing line to the Children's Cancer Hospital in Cairo.

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