Friday, August 25, 2017

Re-Opening Museum, Marsa Matrouh: Rommel's Cave Museum in Egypt to Be Re-Opened Friday After Years of Restoration

The cave in Matrouh was used by Axis general Erwin Rommel during World War II as a makeshift base. Written Nevine El-Aref.

Rommel’s Cave Museum in Egypt's Matrouh will be re-inaugurated on Friday after being closed for seven years for restoration and development.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Governor of Matrouh Major General Alaa Abu Zeid will reopen the site, which was used by Axis general Erwin Rommel during World War II as a makeshift base.

The restoration and development of the cave was carried out by the antiquities ministry in collaboration with Matrouh governorate.

“I really appreciates the collaboration as the governorate has provided the required budget to restore the museum, as well as offering the ministry a part of Misr Public Library to establish another museum for antiquities that would relate the history of Matrouh through displaying all the artefacts found within its sands,” El-Enany told Ahram Online.

He added that the library museum is scheduled to be inaugurated before the end of 2017.

El-Enany pointed out that the opening of Rommel’s Cave Museum highlights the aim of the ministry to promote tourism to Egypt through opening new attractions as well as increasing archaeological awareness among Egyptians in general.

There are also plans to implement evening opening hours at the site.

Elham Salah, head of the ministry’s Museums Department, told Ahram Online that Rommel’s Cave Museum contains a collection of weapons, shells and military equipment used during World War II, as well as military attire, maps showing battle plans, copies of a newspaper produced by Rommel’s troops in Africa during the war, and files on German soldiers.

She explains that the museum was closed for restoration and development in 2010, and early this year the ministry resumed restoration work at the cave. The conservation of its artefacts was carried out by a team of skilful restorers led by Sameh El-Masry.

Salah pointed out that the development work included changing the museum displays and installing new lighting and security systems.

“Rommel’s Cave is one of the area’sA natural caves in the rocky cliff, which has existed since Roman times, and has an entrance and exit on the Mediterranean,” Salah told Ahram Online.

In 1977, she said, the idea of transforming the cave into a museum was launched as a way of paying tribute to Rommel’s career. However, the plan was not put into effect until 1988, when it was opened to the public in order to display a collection of Rommel’s personal possessions, many of them donated by his son Manfred, as well as weapons, shells and military equipment used during World War II.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

New Discovery, Western Desert: New Roman Tombs Discovered in Egypt's Dakhla Oasis

The Funerary Mask & One Of The Discovered Ostraca
Five mud-brick tombs uncovered in Beir Al-Shaghala necropolis in the Western Desert. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

An Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities has uncovered five Roman tombs during excavation works carried out in Beir Al-Shaghala site in Dakhla Oasis in Egypt's Western Desert.

Ayma Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, explained that the tombs are built in mud brick and have different architectural style.

The first tomb has an entrance leading to a rectangular hall with two burial chambers while the second has a vaulted ceiling and its entrance leads to a burial chamber.

The third tomb is a pyramid-shaped tomb. The mission has succeeded in uncovering its upper part while the lower part is still buried in sand. 

The fourth and fifth tombs share one entrance and each tomb has a separate burial chamber with a vaulted ceiling. Ashmawy pointed out that the mission's excavations in the area will continue.

Bei'r Al-Shaghala Necropolis, Some Of The Clay Pots Discovered,
The Tomb With Vaulted Ceiling & The Tomb With Pyramid Shaped End
Gamal Al-Semestawi, general director of antiquities of the Middle Egypt, said that a number of artifacts were found inside the tombs, including the remains of a funerary mask depicting a human face painted in yellow, a set of pottery vessels of different shapes and sizes, as well as two ostraca, one of which contains hieroglyphic text while the second bears text written in Hieratic.

A clay incense burner and remains of a small sandstone sphinx, 14 centimetres by 12.7 centimetres tall, have also been found within the tombs.

Magdi Ibrahim, director general of Dakhla Oasis and head of the mission, said the mission succeeded in its six previous excavation seasons to discover eight Roman tombs in a good state of conservation and with similar architectural design. They are composed of a rectangular hall and two side chambers with sandstone vaulted ceilings. The hall has a mud brick ceiling.

Al-Shaghala area is located to the west of Mout city almost 3 kilometres from Dakhla Oasis in a mid-point between three other archaeological sites.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

News, Giza: Egyptian Antiquities Ministry Inspects Khufu's Boat After Accident Causes 'Mild' Damage To Beam

The accident occurred at the site where the ancient boat is being removed from its burial pit. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref. 
The crane used in lifting up the beams from the pit
A team of archaeologists and restorers were dispatched on Monday to the Giza Plateau to inspect work achieved at Khufu’s second boat project, and to investigate the condition of a damaged beam.

Since 2010, a Japanese-Egyptian team has been working to lift, restore and reconstruct the ancient boat, 4,500 years after it was buried as part of King Khufu's funeral rites. So far, 745 pieces of the 1,264 pieces of the whole boat have been removed from the excavation pit.

Ayman Ashmawi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the boat beam was damaged by accident when a crane malfunctioned, leading it to come into direct contact with a beam within the pit.

the crane lifting up a beam inside the pit
"A very small part of the beam was subjected to a very mild deterioration which does not have any impact on the beam itself and could be easily restored during the restoration work carried out by the efficient and skillful Japanese-Egyptian team," Ashmawi asserted, adding that his observation and the team escorted him during his inspection tour confirm the report submitted by the project team.

Ashmawi told Ahram Online that a committee from the Projects Department at the ministry is to be assigned to re-inspect the beam in order to make another report. He also said that the whole case is now under an administrative investigation in order to find out if there was any employee failure related to the incident.

Eissa Zidan, director-general of first aid restoration at the project, explained that the pit houses around 1,264 wooden beams in 13 different layers. The majority of the beams are in a very bad conservation condition while a minority are almost fully decomposed.

A total of 732 excavated pieces have so far been restored, Zidan said, and a collection of 560 pieces have been transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking Giza plateau.


There are plans to lift and restore all the beams in an attempt to reconstruct the boat and put it on display beside the first boat discovered in 1954 by Egyptian historian Kamal El-Malakh and restored by well-known restorer Ahmed Youssef.

Monday, August 21, 2017

News: The Fight to Preserve Architectural Heritage of Egypt's Alexandria

Confronting the demolition of Alexandria’s historical building is a multi-layered task, argues prominent architect and founder of the Alexandria Preservation Trust Mohamed Awad. Written By/ Dina Ezzat.

The Zogheb palace, which was originally owned by a Syrian-Italian family and built
in 1877, and is one of the oldest buildings on Fouad street, is pictured in
Alexandria, Egypt Feb. 22, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
A beautiful four-floor early 20th century apartment building is being knocked down on Fouad Street at the heart of Alexandria, much to the consternation of inhabitants who have lived through what was arguably the city’s belle époque.

Another apartment building overlooking the corniche of Alexandria, in El-Shatby neighbourhood, has also been evacuated in anticipation of a demolition that architectural heritage preservation activists are campaigning against on social media.

“I am not sure if the campaign will succeed,” lamented Mohamed Awad, the prominent architect who has dedicated years to the preservation and documentation of the architectural heritage of Alexandria’s city centre.

Awad told Ahram Online that the problem is that neither building had ever been put on the list of historic buildings that he helped compose during his days as the head of the Alexandria Preservation Trust (APT).

The list includes 1,135 buildings – 33 of which have exquisite architectural decoration – 63 zones, and 38 streets. Fouad Street, at the very heart of the city centre, is obviously on the list.

However, in the technical sense, preserving a historic street would not necessarily involve a prohibition on knocking down all its old buildings – especially if the owners of the building manage to provide municipal authorities with a valid reason for the demolition.

According to Awad, this reason could be a technical argument, such as fears about the building's possible collapse, or just a "sufficiently convincing argument" that the owner needs to replace a four-floor building that has two apartments on each floor with a higher structure that can accommodate more apartments.

Since he started his work as head of the APT over 40 years ago, Awad has seen the demolition of numerous historic buildings in Alexandria, notable for their architectural value, the events they witnessed or the inhabitants they had accommodated.

Awad particularly laments the demolition of Villa Aghion in 2014. The villa was constructed in the early 1920s by prominent French architect Auguste Perret, “whose gems in France are protected by UNESCO.”

Awad also grieves over the fate of the Villa Cicurel, which was demolished in 2015 and carried the name of one of the most prominent Jewish families of early 20th century Egypt, who owned an elegant department store chain. The villa was constructed in the early 1930s by two prominent French architects; Leon Azema and Jacques Hardy.

“These are just two examples, but we have seen other historic buildings demolished despite being included on the preservation list and despite elementary court rulings [against the demolition],” Awad said..... READ MORE.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Recovered Artifacts, RED SEA: Attempt To Smuggle 18th Century Artifacts Foiled At Egypt’s Hurghada Port

Egyptian authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle six 18th century artifacts at a port in the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Ahmed Al-Rawi, the head of the Central Administration of Seized Antiquities Unit at the antiquities ministry, says that the seized artifacts were in the possession of a Saudi citizen.

The artifacts include a cane with a handle carved in stone bearing the shape of a man with a long beard wearing the Jewish cap (kippah), as well as five stone reliefs engraved with Hebrew text and other decorative elements.

A book of 29 papers written in Hebrew was also among the seized collection, with early studies suggesting that they could be the commandments of Judas Iscariot.Al-Rawi asserted that the artifacts were seized after approving their authenticity in accordance with law 117/1983.

  • All Previous Recovered Artifacts Posts Here 
  • Saturday, August 19, 2017

    News, Cairo: World Heritage Committee Praises Efforts To Preserve Historic Cairo

    The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC) praised on Tuesday the progress achieved by Egypt in preserving Historic Cairo, and proposed recommendations for the preservation efforts. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    In its annual report on the Urban Regeneration of the Historic Cairo Project (URHC) published on Tuesday, the WHC praised "serious steps" taken by Egypt to develop the area and "preserve its architectural and urban heritage."

    The WHC welcomed "steps that have been taken to start and plan a major [project to restore Historic Cairo] under the control of the Ministry of Antiquities and the scope of its urban, cultural, economic and social goals aimed at revitalising the old city structures, and a one-year work programme to undertake studies and define an overall master plan."

    The WHC report praised the progress carried out by Egypt "in conformity with the recommendations of the committee... in terms of putting in place both short and long-term measures to address the urgent problems facing the urban fabric of the old city and its socio-economic structures."

    The report also acknowledged efforts by Egyptian authorities to remove illegally erected structures in historic Cairo and raise awareness among local residents of the archaeological importance of the area.

    The WHC also welcomed proposals to put in place a new management structure for the URHC, which would include the formation of a new body that could be instrumental in driving the URHC Project forward.

    The committee recommended that Egypt give priority to the work of the URHC project "to achieve its goals and submit the draft master plan and establish benchmarks so that progress can be monitored and defined over time."

    Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, general director of the URHC, told Ahram Online that the Ministry of Antiquities is scheduled to submit an update report on the state of conservation in Historic Cairo for review by the WHC at its 43rd session in 2019.

    Abdel-Aziz also said that Egypt will invite a joint World Heritage Center and ICOMOS monitoring mission to view the progress on the project and the impact of recent administrative measures.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    New Discovery, Minya: Three Ptolemaic Tombs Uncovered in Egypt's Minya, Contents Suggest A "Large Cemetery"

    Three new discoveries in El-Kamin El-Sahrawi point to a large cemetery spanning the 27th Dynasty and the Graeco-Roman era. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    One Of The Newly Discovered Sarcophagi 
    (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
    Three rock-hewn tombs from the Ptolemaic era have been discovered during excavation work in the El-Kamin El-Sahrawi area of Minya governorate, the Ministry of Antiquities announced on Tuesday.

    The discovery was made by an Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities working in the lesser-known area to the south-east of the town of Samalout. The tombs contain a number of sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, as well as a collection of clay fragments, according to ministry officials.

    Ayman Ashmawy, head of the ministry's Ancient Egyptian Sector, said that studies carried out on the clay fragments suggest the tombs are from the 27th Dynasty and the Graeco-Roman era. "This fact suggests that the area was a large cemetery over a long period of time," said Ashmawy. Ashmawy describes the discovery as "very important" because it reveals more secrets from the El-Kamil El-Sahrawi archaeological site.

    During previous excavation work, the mission uncovered about 20 tombs built in the catacomb architectural style, which was widespread during the 27th Dynasty and the Graeco-Roman era. Ali El-Bakry, head of the excavation mission,told Ahram Online that the three newly discovered tombs have a different architectural design from the previous ones.

    One of The Rely Discovered Burial Shafts
    &
     The Child Sarcophagus 
    The first tomb is composed of a perpendicular burial shaft engraved in rock and leading to a burial chamber containing four sarcophagi with anthropoid lids. Nine burial holes were also uncovered inside.

    The second tomb consists of a perpendicular burial shaft and two burial chambers. The first chamber is located to the north and runs from east to west, with the remains of two sarcophagi, suggesting that it was for the burial of two people.

    A collection of six burial holes was also found among them, one for a small child. "This was the first time to find a burial of a child at the El-Kamin El-Sahrawi site," El-Bakry said. He added that the second room is located at the end of the shaft and does not contain anything except of remains of a wooden coffin.

    Excavation Works at the third tomb have not yet been finished. El-Bakry said examination of the bones shows them to be from men, women and children of different ages, supporting the notion that the tombs were part of a large cemetery for a large city, and not for a military garrison as some suggest.

    Excavation work started in 2015 when the mission unearthed a collection of five sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, as well as the remains of a wooden sarcophagus. The second session began in October 2016, with five tombs were uncovered. Four of them have similar interior designs, while the fifth consists of a burial shaft. Work is under way to reveal more secrets at the site.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    News, Cairo: Egyptian Museum Celebrates Flooding Of The Nile

    Free Arabic and English guided tours at the Egyptian Museum are being organised to celebrate the ancient flooding of the Nile festival. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    The Ostrava Exhibited As The Piece Of The Month
    To celebrate Flooding of the Nile Day, the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square is organising two free guided tours for evening visitors.

    Elham Salah, head of the Museums Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, revealed that the tours would be in Arabic and be held 18 and 24 August, during the museum’s evening open hours.

    Salah said that guided tours in English would be provided on request during the same hours of the Arabic tours. Sabah Abdel Razak, director general of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, explained that the tours would go through all exhibited artifacts connected to the Nile, such as boats and the Nilometer.

    The museum”s August piece of the month is a limestone Ostrava depicting the Nile god Hapi.

    The flooding of the Nile is an important ancient Egyptian festival celebrating the natural cycle of the Nile flood. It was celebrated by ancient Egyptians as an annual holiday for two weeks starting 15 August, and known as Wafaa El-Nil.

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    News: Egypt World’s Second Fastest Growing Tourist Destination For 2017 - UN World Tourism Organization

    The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released a report this week ranking Egypt’s tourism market as the second-fastest growing in the world in 2017, right after Palestine.

    Despite UK and Russian flights ban to Egypt since 2015, international tourist arrivals to Egypt witnessed a 51 percent hike this year, following Palestine which ranked in the first position with a 57.8 percent increase in international tourist arrivals this year.

    “That hasn’t stopped other nationalities flocking to the country, which has witnessed a 51 per cent spike in international tourist arrivals this year and is on course to welcome nearly eight million holiday travelers in 2017,” the report said, adding that the number is still well below the 14 million who visited in 2010.

    Egypt is followed by the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean and Iceland ranks fourth. The latter’s 35 percent surge is thought to be in part due to the popular TV series “Game of Thrones,” which was filmed on the island, and partly thanks to the Icelander policy of offering free stopovers in Iceland to people en route between Europe and North America.

    Thursday, August 10, 2017

    News: Restoration Work Begins On Al-Mahaly Mosque In The Delta city of Rosetta

    The long-awaited restoration project will see cracks filled, structures strengthened and problems with water and sewage fixed. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    Al-Mahaly Mosque

    The Ministry of Antiquities has begun restoration and development work on Al-Mahaly Mosque in the Delta city of Rosetta, part of a plan to preserve the city's monuments and transform it into an open-air museum of Islamic art.

    Engineer Waadalla Aboul Ela, head of the ministry's projects department, said the mosque is in a bad condition, with numerous cracks, a high rate of humidity and a high level of groundwater.

    Aboul Ela said that the restoration work will include fixing the poor sewage system in the area, which has negatively impacted the mosque, while preventing the leakage of sewage into the walls.

    Cracks will be filled, the walls, columns and ceilings will be consolidated and the foundations strengthened, while a new lighting system will be installed, he said.

    The development and restoration work is expected to last for nearly three years, costing EGP 86 million in total. Once the work is completed, the mosque, which has been closed for years, will be opened to the public once more.

    Mohamed Abdel Latif, Assistant to the Minister of Antiquities for Archaeological Sites, explained that the mosque belonged to Sheikh Ali Al-Mahaly, who died in Rosetta and was buried in 495 AD.

    The mosque is located in the city center and has a wooden ceiling embellished with gilded decorations and supported by 99 pillars of different shapes.

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    Opening Soon, Marsa Matrouh: Marsa Matrouh Archaeological Museum Set To Open In August

    Work At The Marsa-Matrouh Library To Prepare The Halls To Host Artifacts
    A museum displaying the history of Egypt's northern Marsa Matrouh governorate is set to open at Matrouh's National Library at the end of August. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    The project is part of a cooperation protocol signed between the Ministry of Antiquities and Marsa Matrouh governorate.

    Marsa Matrouh governorate has offered part of its National Library to the ministry for the establishing of an archaeological museum that relates the history of the governorate through all the artifacts discovered within its borders, head of the Museums Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities Elham Salah told Ahram Online.

    Work At One Of The Museum's Hall
    The project is entirely financed by Marsa Matrouh governorate.

    The museum will consist of two levels and exhibit 1,000 artifacts excavated in Marsa Matrouh over the years.

    The exhibit aims to highlight the role Marsa Matrouh, the country's northwest governorate which borders Libya, has played along the span of Egyptian history, with a focus on its role as a hub for trade with neighbouring countries and as a border city.

    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    News, Giza: More Egyptian Artifacts Transported To The GEM

    A soft opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum is planned for April 2018. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    One Of The Senefru's Blocks
    A collection of 33 artifacts were transferred to the new Grand Egyptian Museum, known as the GEM, from a store gallery in the Giza Plateau.

    A soft opening of the museum is planned for April 2018.

    Tarek Tawfiq, general supervisor of the GEM, said that the artifacts includes three limestone columns of King Djedka Re Isesi, a fifth dynasty king of the Old Kingdom, as well as 30 stone blocks from the western wall of the temple of King Senefru, the founder of the fourth daynasty, which had been put in storage in 1960.

    "The most important of these blocks are those belonging to the lower carved part of the wall," Tawfiq said.

    The carvings on the blocks depict a group of women carrying offerings as they perform religious rituals inside the temple, while walking towards the king. There is also a cartouche in the name of King Senefru. These women, he said, represent Egypt's various regions in the Old Kingdom, which included 42 regions in the reign of King Senefru.

    Akiko Nishasaka, the director of the project from the Japanese side, said that the project was carried out within the framework of the Egyptian-Japanese project to transfer 71 artifacts to the GEM in cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Authority (JICA).

    She said that within the project, a number of items from King Tutankhamun's treasured collection had been transported, including a bed, a chariot, and three pieces of textile.

    Eissa Zidan, the director-general of restoration at the GEM, said that the conservation team used advanced scientific methods and high-tech equipment in packing and transportation.

    Monday, August 7, 2017

    News, Minya: King Seti II -Era Blocks Discovered At Illegal Excavation Site in Egypt's Minya

    A Newly Discovered Clay Pot
    By - Nevine El-Aref. The Tourism and Antiquities Police have caught red-handed an Egyptian citizen conducting illegal excavation beneath his home in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya, where he uncovered a collection of stone blocks dating back to the reign of ancient Egyptian King Seti II, officials said on Sunday. 

    The suspect has been arrested and all the excavated items have been confiscated, said Ayman Ashmawi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities.

    From Left: The Roman Basin, The Relief With Half Crown, The Relief Of King Seti II 
    Cartouche & A Large Clay Pot

    Gamal El-Semestawi, head of the antiquities ministry's Middle Egypt Antiquities Department, told Ahram Online that the seized items include two limestone reliefs; one engraved with the cartouche of King Seti II and the second bearing the half crown of the king.

    A Roman-era basin and a collection of clay pots were also discovered.

    An archaeological committee has been assigned with conducting further excavation at the site.

    Saturday, August 5, 2017

    News, Alexandria: Restoration of Alexandrian Jewish Synagogue is Underway - Antiquities Ministry

    Restoration of the synagogue is expected to take 8 months and cost EGP 100 million. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    The Jewish Synagogue
    Restoration work is beginning at the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria now that the required archaeological, engineering and scientific studies have been completed, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, director general of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project, told Ahram Online.

    Abdel Aziz said that Arab Contractors and Orascom Construction, assigned to the task by the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, are now on site to install all the required equipment in order to prepare the site for restoration.

    He said that the restoration work is being executed under the supervision of the antiquities ministry and will take eight months. The budget of EGP100 million is being provided by the Egyptian government.

    According to Abdel Aziz, the government has allocated EGP 1.27 billion to complete eight restoration projects: the Jewish synagogue and the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria; the Development of the Giza Plateau; the restoration of King Farouk’s resthouse in the plateau; the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat; Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis; Mohamed Ali Pasha Palace in Shoura; and Alexan Palace in Assiut.

    “The antiquities ministry is keen to restore all Egypt's archaeological sites, including Jewish, Coptic and Islamic sites, which represent the country's heritage,” Abdel Aziz said.

    Waadalah Abul-Ela, the head of the Projects Department at the ministry, said that the restoration work at the synagogue aims to restore the synagogue's architecture and fine decorative elements, as well as the lighting and security systems.

    The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue is located in Nabi Daniel Street in downtown Alexandria and is the oldest synagogue in the city.  It was originally built in 1354 but was subjected to destruction by the Napoleon expedition to Egypt in 1798, in order to build a defensive wall from the Kom El-Dikka area to the Mediterranean. In 1850, the synagogue was reconstructed with contributions from the royal family.

    Thursday, August 3, 2017

    News: Zahi Hawass Awarded Golden Gala of Magna Graecia Film Festival in Italy

    Renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass receives the Golden Gala award of the Magna Graecia Film Festival held in Catanzaro in Italy. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    In a gala event attended by more than 3,000 spectators at the Magna Graecia Film Festival in Catanzaro in Italy, former minister of antiquities and renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass was awarded the festival's Golden Gala for his devotion to archaeology.

    During the award ceremony, Hawass said that Egyptians and Italians love one another and he believes that Italy and Egypt can rebuild relations.

    "I know that there are big problems between our two countries, and I feel very unhappy to not see an Italian ambassador in Cairo or an Egyptian ambassador in Italy, but I believe our two nations can work hard to be able to reestablish a strong relationship," Hawass said, speaking at the Magna Graecia Film Festival in the southern Italian town of Catanzaro.

    Hawass spoke at the screening of the film "Il Loto e Il Papiro" (The Lotus and the Papyrus) written by Francesco Santocono and announced that the film will be screened in Egypt at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 10 September.

    "I know that many think Egypt isn't a safe place right now, but it's not so," Hawass said, adding that "Our country Egypt, is actually a safe one. In three years I have received 3,000 American visitors and I want Italians to return to Egypt. There's not any danger, I assure you."

    He also pointed out that there are several new discoveries that would be announced within the coming months, among them latest results of the Scan Pyramid Project started almost two years ago to explore the interior design of the Khufu pyramid and whether it houses other hidden chambers or corridors, as well as the results of the scan of the Valley of the Kings in September undertaken by an Egyptian-Italian team from Turin University.

    Magna Graecia Film Festival has become one of the most anticipated film festivals for Italian cinema lovers. The 2017 edition was dedicated to late renowned Italian actor Marcello Mastroiann.

    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    News, Minya: Atun Museum Nears Completion After Six Years' Delay In Construction Work

    Installing The Marble Floor At The Museum
    Once completed, the museum will tell the story of Minya through history, including the rule of Pharaoh Akhenatun and his beloved wife Queen Nefertiti.  Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    The final phase of construction of the new Atun Museum, overlooking the River Nile in Minya governorate, is finally in full swing after years of delay, according to officials at Egypt's antiquities ministry.

    Engineers, archaeologists and builders are putting the finishing touches to the first hall, which will serve as a model for other diplay areas in the museum. In the next two weeks, the hall will be inspected by a project consultant to ensure it is up to standard.

    Elham Salah, head of the ministry's museums section, said that work on the hall includes the polishing of the walls and ceiling, and installing the lighting and the air-condition systems.

    "If the project consultant approves the interior design and all the work achieved in the sample hall, such as the colour of the polish, the location of the air-conditioning and the type of flooring, it will be applied in all display areas in the museum," Salah said.

    Ahmed Hemeda, director of the Atun Museum, said that the current work on the museum is the final of three phases, now being completed several years behind schedule.

    Work on the museum began in 2002, with the first two phases completed in 2010. These phases included construction of the main building and additional structures such as an administrative building. However, work halted after the January 2011 uprising due to a decline in tourism revenue and a lack of budget.

    In 2015, work on the third phase began, which involves finishing walls, floors and ceilings, installing lighting and air-conditioning systems, and completing landscaping.

    The Atun Museum covers 25 feddans and stretches 600 metres along the Nile Corniche. Its pyramid-shaped building contains 16 exhibition halls relating the history of Minya governorate through history.

    Some halls will be dedicated to the history of the ancient captial city of Al-Amarna, its monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenatun, his beloved wife Queen Nefertiti, and other family members. There will also be a garden, theatre, conference hall, a cafeteria and 19 shops for arts and crafts.

    News, Alexandria: Construction Will Not Encroach on Alexandria's Historical Al-Mandara Mill - Antiquities Director

    Al-Mandara Mill
    Mohamed Metwali, director of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities in Alexandria and the North Coast, has dismissed media reports that construction in the vicinity of Alexandria's Al-Mandara Mill would encroach on the historical site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

    Metwali told Al-Ahram Weekly that the construction work is not on the historical site itself, but rather on nearby private land.

    Metwali said that the landowner obtained approval for construction from Alexandria governorate and the Ministry of Antiquities' Permanent Committee of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities, which approved construction on the condition that certain measures be put in place to guarantee the integrity of the historical site.

    Among the requirements is that the building not exceed nine levels so as not to spoil the panoramic view of the mill area.

    The conditions also state that the new edifice must be built in a simple Islamic style. The committee also prohibited the drainage of sewage in the vicinity of the mill.

    "If the landowner does not follow the instructions of the committee, the Ministry of Antiquities will demolish the whole building," Metwali said.

    The Al-Mandara Mill was built in 1807 by Khedive Mohamed Ali Pasha to facilitate the grinding process of grain. At the time, Egyptians used animal-powered grinders, which were costly and difficult to use.