Former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass received the Dominican Republic Cultural Award yesterday from the Dominican Republic's minister of culture Jose Antonio in a special event held in honour of Hawass.
Antonio gave Hawass the award for his efforts to protect and preserve Egyptian heritage, whether locally and internationally.
The Dominican minister asked Hawass to help the Dominican Republic to recover stolen artefacts that currently reside in Turin University in Italy as the former Egyptian minister once helped Peru in repatriating 100 artefacts from Hill University in the United States.
A 50-minute-long documentary on the Egyptian-Dominican excavation mission for the search for Cleopatra's tomb at Taposiris Magna was screened at a renowned cinema in the Dominican capital Santo Domingo.
Hawass announced that the mission, led by Kathleen Martinez, conducted a radar survey inside the Taposiris Magna temple in search of Cleopatra's tomb at a depth of 500 km, noting that the results would be announced soon.
Hawass with Antonio and the award
During his Dominican tour, Hawass met Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez, vice president of the Dominican Republic, and asked her to support Egypt's candidate for the post of director-general of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Moshira Khattab.
De Fernandez accepted the request and promised Hawass to discuss it officially with the Dominican minister of foreign affairs.
This was not Hawass' first meeting with De Fernandez. The duo first met in 2009 with late artist Omar Sherif when De Fernandez's husband was the president of the Dominican Republic.
Hawass asked the vice president to gather a group of 500 pioneer students every year to meet with prominent international figures in hopes that the students could benefit from such experiences experiences. De Fernandez agreed on such an idea and invited Hawass to be the first to meet the students.