Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Re-Opening, Minya: Upper Egypt's Malawi Museum to Reopen Thursday

The Malawi Archaeological Museum in Minya is to be officially reopened on Thursday by Minister of Antiquities after three years of rehabilitation work. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
One of The Museum Collection
The Malawi Archaeological Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya has been a hive of activity over recent weeks, with curators, restorers and exhibition design specialists all busy at work to meet the museum’s scheduled re-opening on Thursday

Workers are cleaning the dust from gigantic colossi, and curators are placing labels at the foot of artefacts as others install descriptive panels beside showcases. Restorers are on the scene inspecting the condition of every object.

“Finally after three years of rehabilitation work the Malawi Museum is in the limelight again, with a little twist,” head of the Museums Department at the Ministry of Antiquities Elham Salah said.

She said the two-storey museum building had been overhauled and its indoor decoration and design renewed. The first floor was formerly dedicated to displaying the museum’s treasured collection and the second floor for administration.

Curator Organising Artifacts in Showcases
But the new design concept of the museum no longer depended on placing artefacts next to each other to illustrate ancient Egyptian civilisation, she said. Instead, it provided a broader educational service to visitors and sent out messages that would raise archaeological awareness and loyalty towards Egypt.

It informed Egyptian visitors about how their ancestors had built such a great civilisation through showing daily life, industries and culture, she said.

“This is a new philosophy that the ministry of antiquities is adopting in order to turn the country’s regional museums into more educational, cultural and productive institutions,” Salah said, adding that the idea was for these museums to help educate people about culture, religions and politics.

Egypt’s regional museums had sometimes not fulfilled their true potential because they had often displayed objects without a thematic storyline. This had meant that they had not always attracted their fair share of visitors.

“Every regional museum should reflect the city or town in which it is located,” Salah said, explaining that in the new Malawi Museum, for example, the exhibition design provided clear information about the history of Malawi and Minya and the role these had played in Egyptian civilisation.

The museum has a permanent exhibition of 425 artefacts, some of them from its former collection while the rest have been carefully selected from the Al-Ashmounein and Al-Bahnasa storerooms in the Minya Museum.

The exhibition is divided into sections displaying Minya residents’ daily lives in ancient times and the utensils they used in their houses for cooking as well as the tools they used to make goods and those used for cultivation and trading.

The museum has sections on clay pots and pans, textiles, medicines and writing styles. Panels explaining the development of tools in the area are on display, as is information on how the ancient Egyptians used natural and artificial light. Jewellery is on display in one section of the new museum, shown through a display of make-up containers, wigs, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Ancient Egyptian religious rituals are highlighted in the new museum, since Minya was a main centre of the monotheistic religion introduced by the pharaoh Akhenaten in ancient times. A collection of mummified animals is also on display to show visitors that the ancient Egyptians not only worshipped animals but were also very fond of them…..READ MORE.

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