Friday, February 1, 2019

News, Minya: Egypt's Ministers of Antiquities and Tourism, 11 Ambassadors, Tour Minya Sites

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat and 11 ambassadors to Egypt toured a number of antiquities sites in Minya on Friday. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
  
In Tel El-Amarna they visited the tombs of Panehsi and Mery Re, two of the top officials in the reign of king Akhenaten, which feature notable wall paintings.

The paintings depict scenes showing the visit of Akhenaten, his wife Queen Nefertiti and their daughters to Aten Temple, as well as scenes showing them worshipping Aten and distributing offerings to the people.

In Beni Hassan they visited tombs of top officials from the Middle Kingdom which have paintings showing hunting scenes, marriage ceremonies, hair cutting, military training.

There are 39 tombs at the site, four of which are open to the public. During the tour, El-Enany announced the opening of a fifth tomb, which features wonderful paintings.

The last stop in the tour was the under-construction Aten museum on the banks of the Nile in Minya city, where El-Enany inspected recent construction work.

Work on the museum stopped in 2010 after the completion of its first and second phase due to lack of funds, and resumed in 2016.

In November 2018, Germany’s parliament agreed to grant Egypt 10 million euros to help in the completion of the third and fourth phases. 

The museum relates the story of the monotheistic Akhenaten, who was one of the most important pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Our Treasures Abroad, London: Egypt Retrieves Smuggled Ancient Artefact From London Auction.


Egypt has retrieved an ancient artifact illegally smuggled out of the country after being displayed at an auction hall in London, the antiquities ministry said. Witten By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The piece, a cartouche of King Amenhotep I, was identified following observation of international auction websites, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The ministry took all the necessary measures to stop the sale of the relief and withdraw it from auction,” it added.

The ministry did not elaborate on when or how the artifact was stolen and smuggled out of the country.

The relic was earlier exhibited at the open museum of the ancient temple of Karnak in the southern city of Luxor, the ministry's repatriation department director Shaaban Abdel-Gawad said.

The Egyptian embassy in London received the piece last September following coordination between the foreign ministry, the embassy and British authorities, Abdel-Gawad added.

Earlier this month, the BBC reported that the only casing stone from the Great Pyramid of Giza will be displayed at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from 8 February.

The large block of fine white limestone will go on show for the first time outside Egypt and the first time since it arrived in Scotland in 1872, the BBC said.

Abdel-Gawad told Ahram Online last week that Egypt would send an official inquiry to Scotland asking for a certificate of possession and export documents for the stone, adding that Egyptian authorities will take all necessary step to recover the piece if it was proved to be smuggled out of the country.
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Sunday, January 6, 2019

OurnTreasures Abroad, Scotland: Egypt to Send Official Inquiry over Alleged Pyramid Stone to be Displayed at Scottish Museum


Renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass asserts that the stone could not have come from the Great Pyramid of Giza. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

he supervisor-general of Egypt's Antiquities Repatriation Department, Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, has told Ahram Online that Egypt will send an official inquiry to Scotland asking for a certificate of possession and export documents for a casing stone purportedly from the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The BBC reported earlier today that the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh will display on 8 February a casing stone from the Great Pyramid of Khufu, which will be displayed for the first time outside of Egypt along with other ancient Egyptian artefacts.

Abdel-Gawad said that the Egyptian law for the protection of antiquities stipulates that trading or exporting antiquities is a crime, and if the block is found to have been smuggled out the country, all procedures will be taken to return it home.

Renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass asserted to Ahram Online that the block could not be from the Great Pyramid, whose outer layer was destroyed over the centuries.

“There is no image showing the casing of the Great Pyramid," Hawass said, adding that the outer layer of the pyramid was made of granite, like the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, and not of limestone as the National Museum of Scotland claims.

Hawass added that the only remaining casing from the Giza pyramids is found at the top of the Khafre pyramid and the lower part of the Menkaure pyramid.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

News: Egypt's Antiquities Council Signs Contract with Orascom to Update Tourist Facilities at Giza Pyramids

The company will provide buses and golf carts for transport inside the plateau, will train horse and camel drivers and give them a uniform, and will create WiFi services, signs, maps and other facilities. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has signed a contract with Orascom Investment to allow the latter to provide and operate the facilities at the Giza Plateau, under the supervision of the council.

The signing of contract came after almost a year of negotiations, and after the approval of the cabinet, and aims to upgrade the services available to visitors to the pyramids.

Mustafa Waziri, the general-secretary of the council, told Ahram Online that the facilities and services include a promotional campaign for the site, and operating the parking area located outside the archaeological site just in front of entrance on the Fayoum Road.

Vehicles will be prohibited from entering the site, and the company will instead provide 20 golf carts and 30 buses for visitors, operated with renewable energy, to circulate inside the site. It will also run the services at the site visitor centre, which consists of a collection of shops, cafeterias and a cinema.

“The films on display at this cinema will be revised and have the approval of the Supreme Council of Antiquities before they are shown,” Waziri said. He added that Orascom will also install 20 mobile toilets and a medical centre for first aid facilities in different areas in the plateau which would be selected and approved by the council.

It will also provide new services such as mobile application for the site, free Wi-Fi services, signage, visitor maps, and kiosks for photographs and paintings of visitors. A cleaning company will be provided, as well as a security one to safeguard the services area.

“The Tourism and Antiquities Police and the Supreme Council of Antiquities guards are the only ones to secure the general site, the visitors and the archaeological site,” said Waziri, adding that the security provided by the company is only to safeguard the places where services are provided.

He explained that according to the signed contract the company will train craftsmen, camel and horse owners, peddlers, and photographers in order to upgrade their skills to deal with tourists and visitors, and will buy them new horse carts to replace the out-dated ones. A special place will be allocated for them, as well as a uniform.

Waziri said that it is the first time such services to visitors are provided through a specialised Egyptian company in order to facilitate a visiting route inside the plateau within a complete system that respects the archaeological environment and antiquities laws and regulations.

He underlined that the contract allots half the revenue from the services provided to the council. “If the company does not succeed to make any benefits, it has to pay an agreed minimum amount to the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“The Supreme Council of Antiquities has the authority to select and hire any authority to review the financial account of the company and supervise the execution of all articles in the contracts, in order to guarantee the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ rights,” Waziri said, adding that the council also has the right to end the contract at any time should the company breach any of its obligations stipulated in the contract.

He added that the council is the only body that received the revenues from the tickets and bus services inside the plateau which will be part of the ticket price. The Supreme Council of Antiquities is the authority with full responsibility for the archaeological site.

Exclusive Video: Inside the Newly Discovered Tomb in Sakkara


Exclusive video showing Dr. Mostafa Waziry talking about the discovery and the tomb. 
Who is the tomb owner? What was his job? The description of the tomb contents? What is yet to be discovered?