Friday, July 4, 2008
The concept of copyrights has in Egypt been taken to another level. It is as if members of Creative Commons sat down around a table and made jokes about the ultimate challenge of copyright in a global perspective. On their list was "New York City, WTC, Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty" as a group, "Dolphins, Butterflies, Princesses & Unicorns" as a group, "HR Giger, ying & yang, hearts and barcode tattoos" and of course "the Pyramids, the Sphinx, King Tut and Nefertiti" as a group.
Zahi Hawass who is the charismatic and controversial head of Egypt's
Supreme Council of Antiquities, told AFP that he wants a law that will completely prohibit the duplication of
historic Egyptian monuments which the Supreme Council of Antiquities
considers 100-percent copies.
"If the law is passed then it will be applied in all countries of the world so that we can protect our interests," Hawass said.
The move to make this law was
necessary to pay for the upkeep of the country's thousands of pharaonic
said that a ministerial committee had already agreed on the law which
should be passed in the next parliamentary session, while insisting the
move would not hurt Egyptian artisans.
"It is Egypt's right to be
the only copyright owner for these monuments in order to benefit
financially so we can restore, preserve and protect Egyptian monuments". However,
the law "does not forbid local or international artists from profiting
from drawings and other reproductions of pharaonic and Egyptian
monuments from all eras -- as long as they don't make exact copies".
"Artists have the right to be inspired by everything that surrounds them, including monuments," he said.
This is good news for the millions of artists worldwide that can not put enough pyramids in their work, being either intuitionally inspired by thier triangular shape, their mysterious powers, or that at one point or the other they read spiritually pop iconic book "The Alchemist" by Paulo Cuelho that tells the story of the shepherd boy Santiago that is told to go to the pyramids to find a hidden treasure.
about the potential impact on the monumental Luxor Hotel in the US
gambling capital of Las Vegas, Hawass insisted that particular resort
was "not an exact copy of pharaonic monuments despite the fact it's in
the shape of a pyramid."
On its website, the luxury hotel
describes itself as "the only pyramid shaped building in the world,"
but Hawass said its interior was entirely different from an ancient
Hawass's declarations came after the opposition
daily Al-Wafd published an article on Sunday called for the Las Vegas
hotel to pay a slice of its lodging and gambling profits to the city of Luxor.
"Thirty-five million tourists visit Las Vegas to see the
reproduction of Luxor city while only six million visit the real
Egyptian city of Luxor," the paper lamented.
Check this Pyramid House out. It is said that the energy created within the shape of a pyramide has divine powers. But maybe you need to ask Mr. Hawass before you build your next pyramid house, or pyramid in the garden.