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Mubarak's wife accused of exploiting relics

Mubarak's wife accused of exploiting relics
U.S. First Lady Laura Bush (2nd L) helps Jolanta Kwasniewska (L), wife of the former Polish president, get into position as Suzanne Mubarak (2nd R), wife of the Egyptian president and Queen Silvia of Sweden chat prior to posing for a picture at the Elysee Palace in Paris, January 17, 2007. (UPI Photo/Eco Clement) | License Photo

CAIRO, June 17 (UPI) -- The chief of Egypt's archaeological sites is accusing Hosni Mubarak's wife and Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass of misconduct involving ancient artifacts.

Prosecutors said Friday they are investigating the allegations by Nour Abdel Samad, al-Masry al-Youm reports.

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Hawass had said during a TV talk show that a Tutankhamun exhibition took in $17 million for former first lady Suzanne Mubarak's charity; Samad said that was illegal because the foundation is privately owned.

Samad also asserted that Hawass signed an illegal contract with the National Geographical Society to send items from the Tutankhamun collection to an exhibition in Minnesota that runs until next April without documenting the number or types of the pieces.

He also said the Egyptian Museum in Cairo sent 143 artifacts to Washington, D.C., in 2002 that were never returned.

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