The following are excerpts from an interview with Zahi Hawwas, the secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, which aired on Channel 1 on February 21, 2010.
Interviewer: Do you continue to maintain the position you declared in the past – that you will not open a museum for Jewish antiquities in Egypt?
Zahi Hawwas: I am adamant about this. I carry out restoration of Jewish antiquities because they are Egyptian, but I will not open a Jewish museum. I will open such a museum only when the Palestinians get their rights, and Israel... The Jewish rabbi responsible for this issue came to me, and I said to him, in front of everybody...
Interviewer: The chief rabbi of Egypt?
Zahi Hawwas: No, the rabbi in Washington came to see me, and I said to him: Under no circumstances will I open a Jewish museum. This is impossible. Politically, I cannot do this, because all the people would hold me accountable. I am Egyptian, and I would like to see the Palestinian issue resolved. Until that happens, I will not open such a museum. I will build the museum only when there is peace.