Wednesday, November 30, 2016

News, Cairo: Transported Porcelain Artifacts are not damaged as Rumored - Egyptian Antiquities Ministry

Nevine El- Aref: Ministry of Antiquities asserted in a press release on Tuesday that the recently transported 38 artifacts o the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) are safe and sound and were not damaged as rumoured.

Mahrous Saeed, supervisor general of the NMEC, told Ahram Online that the pieces were transported safely from the Manial Palace in Cairo and are now stored in the NMEC gallery, which is equipped according by state-of-the-art technology.

“The porcelain objects are safe and sound in the NMEC,” asserted Saeed, adding that the pieces include lamps and pots from the 19th-century Mohamed Aly family era.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Short Story: A journey Through the Land of Wonders - MICHAEL PORTILLO on Why Egypt is The Most Fascinating Place on Earth

Of all the places I’ve visited in my life, Egypt has been the most fascinating.

I’ve explored almost the whole country: Cairo and the Pyramids, Alexandria, the temples of Luxor and Karnak, the Valleys of the Kings and the Queens and the Nobles. I’ve travelled to Aswan and all the way down to Abu Simbel in the far south.

I’ve also been to Sharm-el-Sheik, and from there into the Sinai, where I visited St Catherine’s Monastery. Sadly, this area is currently off-limits to travellers as the Foreign Office warns against visits.

If, like me, you’re interested in history, Egypt is a place of wonders. It’s the land of many civilisations, including Greek, Roman, Christian and Muslim. So many ancient structures are still brilliantly intact; they invite you to understand a completely different way of looking at life

This was a civilisation that depended on renewals: the renewal of the day; the renewal of the harvest; the renewal of the river, which made the surrounding countryside fertile. It was a civilisation that was drawn towards the idea of reincarnation. There is so much to see, but many holidaymakers are worried about safety.

The Foreign Office’s principal source of anxiety is Sharm-el-Sheik airport – UK airlines are not currently flying there for security reasons. The area in and around Sharm-el-Sheik itself, however, is considered safe, as is Cairo, Luxor and the resort of Hurghada. As far as flying to Sharm-el-Sheik is concerned, the British position has not changed since last October, when a Russian passenger jet was brought down.

The positions of some other national authorities have altered, so you can fly there from Belgium, Germany and Turkey, for example, and British airlines seem to be lobbying to resume flights.

If you are a fan of my BBC series Great Continental Railway Journeys, you’ll probably not be surprised to learn that one of my great aspirations is to travel on Egypt’s railways. There are trains from Suez, Alexandria, Port Said and various point on the Nile Delta, allowing travellers to pass through Cairo and Luxor. It’s an obvious journey for us to do, particularly as Egypt is included in the 1913 guide used by George Bradshaw that we feature in our programme.

We’ve already been to what Bradshaw calls the Holy Land and we’ve also headed to Morocco. The British built the railways: Egypt was a very important place strategically because of the Suez Canal and its Mediterranean ports. And in 1913, the British would have been extremely worried about the growing alliance of Turkey and Germany, which gave rise to a very important theatre in the First World War. I can’t wait to get back to Egypt to film my journey.

Friday, November 25, 2016

News: The Heretic King's Head Moved to GEM for 2017 Opening

Last Thursday, GEM (Grand Egyptian Museum) receives a group of 850 objects from the Egyptian museum in Cairo in preparation for the partial opening of the GEM by the end of 2017.

The collection includes objects dated to the Middle and New Kingdom as well as a number of objects of King Tutankhamon's collection. Dr. Essa Zidan said that some objects need restoration work which could take months due to their current condition.

The objects transferred include a sandstone head of statue of Akhnaten in a good preservation state and two granite statues of Amenhotep II and Thotmosis III.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New Discovery, Luxor: Egyptian Archaeologists Discovered a 5000+ Years Settlement in Upper Egypt

Pre-dynastic cemetery and settlement discovered in Abydos. According to Dr. Mahmoud Affifi, a team of Egyptian archaeologists discovered a pre-dynastic cemetery dated to 4th millennium B.C (3316 B.C) located 400 meters to the south of Seti I temple in Abydos.

The team are all Egyptian archaeologists who are working for the ministry of antiquities and this mission also included training a number of Egyptian archaeologists on documentation as a part of the ministry’s plan to encourage qualified Egyptian teams to do digs and train new generations.

Dr. Affifi said “It is probably the cemetery and the settlements belong to high officials and the overseers of royal tombs and mortuary structures of the kings of the first dynasty in Abydos.”

The team also discovered a number of huts and daily life tools including pottery which could refer to a workers village for the workers who were responsible for building the royal tombs.

Dr. Hany Abo ELAzm said “The Egyptian team managed to unearth 15 large mud brick tombs so far, some measures up to 14 meters x 5 meters. The discovered tombs are different in design and architectural styles. 

Some of the tombs are even bigger than the royal tombs in Abydos of 1st Dynasty which shows the importance of the owners and their positions in this early period of the Egyptian history.

Yasser Mahmoud Hussein, head of the Egyptian archaeologists’ team, said “Some of the tombs are unique as they have more than one Mastaba up to 4 mastabas. 

Mastabas were used in tombs of 1st Dynasty in Sakkara then in the time of 3rd Dynasty so in this case it is the first to discover Mastaba tombs dated to the 1st Dynasty in Abydos.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

News: “EGYPT IS SAFE” US Government Thinks It is Safe to Go on Holiday

Egypt is Safe” US government thinks it is safe to go on holiday to Egypt, by announcing it a safe country in the Middle East.
The State Department has issued a warning to Americans travelling to Europe of an increased risk of incidents of terrorism, particularly over Christmas.

A travel advisory statement on Monday read:
"Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL the U.S. gov't acronym for ISIS or Da'esh), al-Qaeda, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events."

The State Department urged travellers to avoid large crowds and tourist sites, and to follow the instructions of local authorities, citing previous attacks:
"While extremists have carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey in the past year, the Department remains concerned about the potential for attacks throughout Europe.  If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages."

There are a number of warnings and alerts currently active on the State Department website Click Here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

News, Alexandria: Kom Al-Shoqafa Catacombs in Good Condition, No Flooding - Ministry

The Ministry of Antiquities has announced that the Kom Al-Shoqafa catacombs in Alexandria are safe and have not been submerged in water, as published in some news reports and on social media. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Kom Al-Shoqafa Catacomb
In the statement, head of the Central Administration for Maintenance and Restoration Gharib Sonbol described the social media accounts as “lies and unfounded claims.” Sonbol said that the catacombs are unharmed, and that water machines installed in the surrounding area are working efficiently and reduce the subterranean water level to protect the site from flooding.

He added that nothing has damaged the wall paintings of the main tomb. The only thing to have fallen was some two cm-thick mortar from restoration carried out in the 1980s, which doesn't threaten the catacomb or its walls. “All the wall paintings and reliefs are in very good condition and have not collapsed, as some have claimed,” Sonbol told Ahram Online. The United States Agency for International Development, Sonbol said, has undertaken studies on a comprehensive project to reduce and control the subterranean water level in the area. He said the project will bid for approval in early December.

The Kom Al-Shoqafa catacombs are situated to the west of the Pompy Pillar in Alexandria and are considered the largest and most important burial site dating back to the Graeco-Roman period in Egypt. Kom Al-Shoqafa, meaning "the hill of treasures" in Arabic, was uncovered accidentally in 1900.

It contains a mixture of Roman, Hellenistic, Pharaonic, and ancient Egyptian decorative elements that were common in different eras in Alexandria. The catacombs are rock-hewn tombs that date back to the 2nd century AD, consisting of three levels, all located underground. However, due to flooding that occurred in this area in antiquity, the lowest level is now inaccessible.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

News: Ancient Egypt Crocodile Surprise at Dutch Museum

A new scan of a 2,500-year-old crocodile mummy has stunned experts in the Netherlands by revealing that there are dozens of mummified baby crocs inside.
The 3m-long mummy has been at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden since 1828 and is on display in its Egyptian galleries. In the 1990s, a scan showed that there were actually two crocodiles within the wrappings, but did not spot at least 47 individually wrapped youngsters, de Volkskrant news website reports.

It took an advanced three-dimensional CT scan by the Swedish technology company Interspectral to reveal what was hidden inside. "You can't see them very well on the old scans unless you know they're there - and we never expected to find this," says curator Dr Lara Weiss. She says the mummy would have been an offering to the crocodile god Sobek.

The museum describes it as an "exceptional discovery" and says the use of both young and older crocodiles could reflect the ancient Egyptians' belief in life after death. The scan was originally planned as part of preparations for a new exhibit which allows visitors to carry out an "interactive virtual autopsy" on the both the crocodile mummy and that of an Egyptian priest. It will give people a chance to examine each layer and also get a close-up 3D view of the amulets inside the wrappings, the museum says.

In 2015, scientists at the British Museum in London found that a huge mummified crocodile had 20 hatchlings attached to its back. That discovery was also made using a CT scan, which had to be done in 80cm sections because the mummy was so large.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

News: Oxford Union Hosts Debate on Repatriation of Arab Antiquities Acquired During Colonial Rule

The prestigious debate society hosted students and art historians from Europe and the Middle East; those arguing for the return of artifacts to their countries of origin won the debate with 165 votes to 106. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass with the debaters 
The Oxford Union hosted a debate on Tuesday at Oxford University on the repatriation of Arab artifacts acquired under colonial rule, which are now on display in European and American museums. The prestigious debate society invited students to observe the debate, ask questions, argue their own opinions, and vote for a winner at the end.

On one side of the stage, were those arguing for the return of artifacts to their countries of origin. Speakers on this side included directors of major European museums, including former director of the  Voorlinden,  Wim Pijbes, and Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian minister of antiquities and director of excavations at Giza, Saqqara, Bahariya Oasis and Valley of the Kings. The side opposing repatriation included speakers James Cuno, President and CEO of J Paul Getty Trust, and Dr Sabine Haag, General Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Austrian Museum of Ethnology and the Austrian Theatre Museum.

Hawass with his team
Hawass told Ahram Online that those in favor of keeping Arab artifacts housed abroad cited state-of-the-art display capabilities and high- tech security and lighting systems at Western museums—advantages with which local museums simply cannot compete. The opponents of repatriation also argued that the restoration work being done in international museums is of higher quality, pointing to incorrect methods recently used to restore the Tutankhamun mask at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

A Sudanese student at Oxford University defended keeping artifacts abroad, asserting that officials in her own country do not care enough to adequately protect Sudanese artifacts and monuments—the majority of which have been smuggled out the country. Those supporting the repatriation of artifacts obtained in foreign counties during colonial rule was led by Hawass.

The former minister of antiquities noted that 70 percent of the artifacts on display at international museums left Egypt legally when the country observed a law that enabled foreign archaeological missions to divide artifacts from their discoveries with Egypt. He added that Egyptian artefacts were legally put on sale at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir until the issuing of law 117 in1983, which prohibited such activity... READ MORE

Thursday, November 17, 2016

News, Cairo: Egyptian Museum Marks 114th Anniversary with New Evening Opening Hours

The Egyptian Museum will now be open in the evening every Thursday and Sunday. Written By/ Nevine El Aref.

The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square is buzzing with activity as a grand plan is in the works to commemorate its 114th anniversary on Thursday.

The museum will hold a gala ceremony in its garden marking the occasion and to mark the fact that starting this week, the museum will be open late into the evening every Thursday and Sunday. In addition to its normal opening hours of 9am to 5pm, the museum will now be open from 5:30pm to 9pm on those two days.

Distinctive for its burnt-orange, neo-classical façade, the museum was built in 1902. It is home to 150,000 of the nation’s most important artifacts, from a long and unique span of Egypt’s history. Waadala Abul Ela, the head of the Projects Department at the ministry, told Ahram Online that installing the new lighting system inside and outside the museum began in July in an attempt to expand the museum's hours of operation into the evening.

He said the project will cost EGP 2 million, a fee the Ministry of Tourism has offered to cover. The project includes the installation of new electric cables as well as changing the lighting on paths both inside and outside the museum.

The director-general of the museum, Sabah Abdel-Razzek, explained that to celebrate the museum’s 114th birthday, a temporary exhibition is to be inaugurated by Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany on Thursday. It includes a collection of nine artefacts from the discoveries of the late Egyptologist Selim Hassan during his excavation works in Giza and Saqqara necropolis. A 3D hologram show of some of his unique discoveries is to be screened and Reda folk dance group will perform.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Recovered Artifacts, Switzerland: Geneva Returns Stolen Artifact to Egypt

Switzerland will return to Egypt an ancient stela stolen from a temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, Geneva's public prosecutor said on Monday. 
The stela was stolen from a temple in Egypt. File photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP
The stone slab bearing a relief design was stolen 30 years ago from the Iseion temple at the Behbeit El Hagar archeological site in Lower Egypt.

"During an inventory control in the Geneva free economic zone at the end of 2014, the federal customs identified... a granite engraving of unknown origin and alerted Geneva police, who opened a criminal case," the public prosecutor said.
Egyptologist Philippe Collombert from the University of Geneva examined the artefact and it was traced to the Isis temple near the towns of Sebennytos and Mansoura in the Nile delta, the statement said.
Investigators compared photographs taken by French archeologist Christine Favard Meeks at the site in the 1970s to more recent ones which "established without any doubt that the granite engraving was stolen from" Behbeit El Hagar. The tablet will shortly be handed over to Egyptian authorities.
The Iseion was one of the major centres of the Isis cult in antiquity, comparable to those in the temple complexes at Philae and Abydos in Upper Egypt.
Isis was venerated as the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom. She was the consort of Osiris, the Egyptian god of death and the underworld.
Egypt has been campaigning to have many precious artefacts housed in European museums that it considers stolen to be returned, such as the Nefertiti Bust in Berlin.

Monday, November 14, 2016

New Discovery, Luxor: New discovery at Thutmose III's Temple in Luxor

The tomb of the servant of King Thutmose III’s house is discovered in Luxor; mummy cartonnage in excellent state of preservation. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

During the ninth archaeological field season, which started in September, the joint Spanish-Egyptian mission at the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmose III, at Al-Deir Al-Bahari on Luxor's west bank, stumbled upon the tomb of the servant of the king’s house, Amenrenef.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities told Ahram Online that the tomb was uncovered at the southern enclosure wall of the temple and is in a very good state of conservation. 

A deterriorated wooden coffin was found inside the tomb, he continued, but inside a beautiful and well-preserved mummy cartonnage was found.

Mission field director Egyptologist Myriam Seco Álvarez said that preliminary study has determined the name and title of the occupant of the tomb, who was the servant of the king’s house, Amenrenef. 

The tomb can thus be dated to the “Third Intermediate Period” (1070-712 BC). Afifi said that in-depth study of the cartonnage is to be undertaken very soon.

Álvarez said out that the cartonnage includes its almost complete polychrome painted decoration and inscriptions with some of the most characteristic symbols and elements of the ancient Egyptian religion.

Among these inscriptions are solar symbols, the protective goddesses Isis and Nephthys with spread wings, hawks and the four sons of Horus, executed in artisanal quality of the highest order.

Friday, November 11, 2016

New: UNESCO High Level Forum On Museum Opens

The forum will hold its first meeting on Wednesday in Shenzhen, China. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The chief of the U.N.'s education and culture agency, Irina Bokova 
UNESCO has established a high level forum on museums, in keeping with the body's 2015 recommendations concerning the protection and promotion of museums and collections, their diversity and their role in society.

The forum's inaugural meeting will take place in Shenzhen, China from 9 to 12 November 2016, according to a UNESCO press release. The event is co-organized with the National Commission of People’s Republic of China to UNESCO, Shenzhen Municipality, Zhi Zhen Art Museum and the State Administration for Cultural Heritage (SACH) of China.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany travelled on Wednesday to attend the forum where he will deliver a speech on the role of Egyptian museums in protecting national heritage and raising cultural awareness.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will also attend the forum long with top Chinese officials and general directors of museums worldwide. The forum will discuss issues concerning museums all over the globe, the press release stated, particularly as in the past 40 years the number of museums in the world has more than doubled.

Recognizing that museums play important social, educational and economic roles, Yasmin El-Shazly, General Supervisor of the International Organizations Department at the Ministry of Antiquities said that the Forum’s international panelists will discuss new museum sector trends and public policies. 

Panelists will also discuss the protection of cultural property and collections, ethical and technological standards in museums, and how to better engage and benefit communities. The implementation of UNESCO's 2015 recommendations will also be discussed, along with ways to boost international cooperation between museums.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

News: New Book on Discovery of Egypt's Karnak Cachette Launched

A new book highlighting the Karnak Cachette discovery by French archaeologist Georges Legrain was launched. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The Cover of The Book
Egypt's antiquities ministry and the French Institute for Oriental Studies (IFAO) launched a new book that highlights George Legrain's discovery of Karnak Cachette under the title: "Karnak Cachette: New prespectives on the discoveries of Georges Legrain."

Hussein Bassir, the general-director of the General Administration of Scientific Publication, explained that the book is the result of fruitful cooperation between the Ministry of Antiquities and the IFAO.

The cooperation, Bassir explained, helped highlight the excavation works carried out at Karnak temples by the renowned French archaeologist Georges Legrain, after one hundred years of his discovery of Karnak Cachette and to pay tribute to his diligent work at Thebes.

The book has four parts: Part One analyses cachettes in Pharaonic Egypt, Part Two deals with historical and archaeological approaches to the Karnak Cachette, Part Three investigates the contribution of the Karnak Cachette to Egyptian and art history, and Part Four goes into the Late Period statues of Karnak Cachette and their function in the Karnak temples.

The book ends with an index and English summaries of the contributions. Twenty-four studies on the Karnak Cachette are included, written by international scholars. The contributions, written in English, French, and German, investigate objects found in this deposit, analyse the Cachette itself, and shed light on other Egyptian cachettes.

George Legrain (1865-1917) started his work in Egypt as a member of the French institute before being appointed by Jacques De Morgan as inspector of the Service des Antiquités and then as director of the works at Karnak in 1895.

Legrain excavated the cachette between 1903 and 1907, leading to the discovery of a very high number of artifacts, some of which are still unpublished. These objects are of great significance for the religious life at Karnak and for the history and art of ancient Egypt between the Middle Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Period. The Karnak Cachette is really one of the major archaeological discoveries in Egypt of the twentieth century.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

New Discovery, Aswan: Causeway Discovered in Ancient Aswan Tomb

The Engraved Wall of The Causeway
The causeway leads to the tomb of the first Middle Kingdom provincial governor of Elephantine Island. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

During excavation work at Aswan's Qubbet El-Hawa necropolis, a British mission from Birmingham University and the Egypt Exploration Society uncovered a causeway leading to the tomb of Sarenput I, the first Middle Kingdom nomarch (provincial governor) of Aswan's Elephantine Island.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the newly discovered causeway is considered the longest ever found on the western bank of the Nile in Aswan, stretching for 133 metres to connect the tomb of Sarenput I to the Nile bank.

Afifi explains that the causeway is decorated with engravings, the most important of which are found on the eastern part of the ramp's northern wall and depict a group of men pulling a bull and presenting it as an offering to Sarenput I after his death.

Hani Abul Azm, head of the central administration of Upper Egypt, told Ahram Online that the mission has also unearthed a collection of clay containers from a pit within the causeway, which archaeologists believe are canopic jars used in mummification.

The Causeway Upon Discovery
Abul Azm said the containers will be studied, along with the organic materials found inside, in an attempt to better understand the mummification process.

The mission's field director Martin Yumath says he is very enthusiastic about the discovery, describing it as "a wonderful success that could change the original features of Qubbet El-Hawa area."

Yumath asserted that the mission will start a comprehensive study on the ramp in order to reveal more of its secrets, which may open up the opportunity to comprehensively explore the Qubbet El-Hawa area, which houses a collection of tombs of high officials from the Old Kingdom and nomarchs from the Middle Kingdom.

Sarenput I ruled Elephantine during the reign of King Senusert I of the 12th dynasty. He held several other titles such as the overseer of the priests of Satet and the overseer of foreign lands, among other positions. He was also the king's personal trading agent for goods from Nubia. His tomb is composed of three rooms connected by hallways.

The first two chambers hold colonnades, while the innermost chamber has a niche that once housed a statue of the owner. The outer reliefs depict Sarenput with some of his relatives and his dogs, while the surviving inner paintings depict a scene of the owner with the god Khnum.

Monday, November 7, 2016

News, Cairo: Egyptian Museum Selects Tutankhamun Artifacts for November 'Piece of The Month'

Four artifacts from Tutankhamun's treasured collection make up the November piece of the month. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The Egyptian Museum is marking the 94th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by selecting four artifacts associated with the boy king to be, collectively, the museum's “piece of the month” for November.

The items will be on display on Friday at the entrance to the museum, to mark the discovery of the tomb on 4 November 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.

Sabah Abdel Razak, the director-general of the museum, told Ahram Online that November piece of the month was not selected this month through voting on Facebook as usual but instead were selected directly from the collection.

She said the items selected included a statue of the king on the throne as a child, wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt and carrying a flail and a heqa sceptre.

Another item is a wooden chest inlaid with ivory inscribed with Tutankhamun's name and titles on its lid, as well as with gilded glass carved in faience.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Re-Opening, Fayoum: Kom Aushim Museum Re-Opened in Egypt's Fayoum

The museum was re-opened by the minister of antiquities after being closed for 10 years. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany re-opened Kom Aushim Museum in the Fayoum governorate, South of Cairo, after it had undergone renovation. During the event, El-Enany said that the inauguration comes within the framework of the ministry’s plan to reopen closed museums and open new archaeological sites to encourage tourism to the country.

"The museum has on display a collection of 320 artifacts telling the history of Fayoum and the traditions of its inhabitants along the span of history," said Elham Salah, the head of the ministry’s Museums Department.

Some of these artifacts were among the museum's existing collection while others are being exhibited for the first time and come from the galleries of the Kom Aushim archaeological sites and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Waadallah Abul-Ela, head of the ministry’s Projects Department, said that the restoration project cost EGP 650,000 and was paid for by the ministry.

The restoration includes the installation of new security and lighting systems, the replacing of old showcases, raising the museum’s external iron fence by three meters and the building of new control towers. The museum's facade and walls were also polished. The museum was built at the entrance of Karanis town in 1974 to relate the history of Fayoum governorate. In 1993, a new floor was added to the museum, though in 2006 it was closed for restoration.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Our Treasures Abroad, USA: Egypt Urges Sanctions on Toledo Museum of Art

The antiquities ministry has prohibited any future cooperation with the Toledo Museum of Art. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The antiquities ministry has prohibited any future cooperation with The Ohaio Toledo Museum of Art for its "indecent" actions towards Egypt's cultural heritage which "violates" the code of ethics of the international museums committee.

Earlier this month, Toledo museum put on sale at Christies auction hall a collection of 68 artefacts from its collection from Egypt and Cyprus. The objects were sold late last week for $12 million.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the Supervisor General of the Antiquities Repatriation Department, told Ahram Online that the Ministry of Antiquities has prohibited any cooperation or dealing with Toledo Museum or any of its staff because the museum did not continue its international role as a cultural institution.

He pointed out that discussions through diplomatic channels are at full swing to stop the continuation of the sale and to recover the artifacts. Upon the announcement of the sale, the ministry called the UNESCO and the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) as well as Egypt’s Embassy in the United States to put a halt to the transaction.

Former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass is also set to send letters to UNESCO and ICOM urging them to remove the Toledo Museum from the international museums list. He would also send letters to all schools and institutions in the United States to encourage children not to visit the museum because it sells the world's heritage.

Hawass will also send these letters to a representative of Egypt's National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

News, Giza: Egypt's Grand Museum, National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to Have Separate Management

The Grand Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to become independent under supervision of antiquities ministry. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a ministerial decree to establish two independent General Authorities for the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) under the supervision of the antiquities ministry.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said the decree states that every authority would have its own board of trustees composed of a group of Egyptian and prominent international public figures with experience in the field. 

Every board would draft the museum's general policies, setting up a work programme and managing the museum's budget through studying the grants, donations and gifts provided from international, regional and local parties, within the articles of law and regulations that organise them. 

The board of trustees, he added, would also appoint the museum director and his two assistants.

GEM's Supervisor General Tarek Tawfik described the decree as ideal because it would facilitate administrative work in both museums as well as decrease its bureaucracy.

He went on to say that the board of trustees would push the work forward to make the dream of both museums come true.