Monday, March 28, 2016

Re-Opening, Cairo: Egypt's Museum of Islamic Art Regains its Allure After Two-Year Restoration

El-Enany (left) Salah (right) in the MIA tour 
(Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)
The Museum of Islamic Art is to be open in April after three years of closing for restoration. Written By/ Nevine El Aref.

After two years of closing, Cairo's Museum of Islamic Art will officially be inaugurated in April, Minster of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany announced Sunday during a tour of the museum to inspect restoration and rehabilitation works.

El-Enany pointed out that the "restoration and the opening of the museum embodies the collaboration efforts exerted on the local and international level to stand against any kind of terrorism that aims to erase Egypt's distinguished identity and civilisation."

Elham Salah, head of the ministry's Museums Department who escorted the minister during his visit, told Ahram Online that 95 per cent of the restoration works have been completed.

El-Enany at the MIA facade (Up) - El-Enany gives instruction during
his MIA tour  (Down) - (Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)
The façade, building and halls have been restored and new state-of-the-art security and lighting systems were installed. All the pedestals carrying large artefacts and display cases were also replaced.

Salah said that the collection is being arranged in its original position with the exception of the souvenir hall, previously located at the centre of the museum, “which will now be relocated to another place at the end of the visitors’ path outside the museum.”

A hall displaying Islamic coins and weapons was built along with another hall for Islamic manuscripts. One hall exhibits the daily life of people down the Islamic ages through instruments and children’s toys.

“After the addition of these objects, the museum's collection increased to 5,000 artefacts from 1,874 items,” Salah said, adding that among the items are 2,000 coins.

The museum was damaged by a car bomb explosion in January 2014 targeting the adjacent Cairo Security Directorate on Port Said Street in Bab El-Khalq neighbourhood. The explosion blew a six-metre crater into Port Said Street and ripped into the façade of the two-storey museum building, whose second floor is shared with the National Library and Archives.
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