Showing posts with label Islamic Art Museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Islamic Art Museum. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2016

News: Construction of Grand Egyptian Museum to Be Completed by Year’s End and Partially Opened in Mid-2017 - Minister of Antiquities

Museum of Islamic Art will be reopened this month and the Museum of Malawi next month.

The Ministry of Antiquities aims to complete construction of the first phase of the Grand Egyptian Museum before the end of the year. The museum will be partially opened by mid-2017. Meanwhile, the ministry is considering a number of proposals and suggestions to increase its resources, following the decline in tourism revenues, which dropped down to EGP 229.8m from EGP 1.273bn in 2010.

Daily News Egypt recently sat down with Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anany, who revealed that the ministry is reviewing potential new sources of revenue. These sources will be presented at the upcoming Supreme Council of Antiquities meeting next week. The most prominent ideas suggested are placing advertisements on tickets to archaeological sites and offering package ticket deals to tourists.

How will the ministry deal with the decline in revenue and lower visitor numbers? What are the new ideas for developing revenue resources?

The ministry is studying several proposals and ideas for implementation in the coming period in order to improve the ministry’s revenue sources. We are considering putting forward package ticket deals that include a number of archaeological sites and are valid for several days at discounted rates, depending on the number of days and the sites included.

This proposal is not something new. Many countries around the world offer similar kinds of tickets. These packages should encourage tourists to visit more archaeological areas as they will not need to waste time buying tickets at each site.

The ministry is also studying the launch of the first auction of its kind for companies to place their advertisements on entry tickets to archaeological sites before the end of this year. We are currently reviewing the feasibility of the proposal and whether to offer a collective bid or separate bids for each area.

Does the ministry have a vision to improve inbound tourism? What are the most important operational steps?

We must first admit that the tourism crisis has many reasons behind it. It has been impacted by events across the region. It is also influenced by security. The ministry is promoting Egyptian antiquities around the world via TV channels and international media.

The ministry has opened new archaeological sites and reopened palaces, museums, and monuments that were shut down in 2011 or the two years following. This aims to change Egypt’s image and assure tourists that Egypt is safe. Allowing the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to stay open at night also highlights the safety of the entire downtown district, which will attract more tourists. The government has also been developing airport security for the same purposes.

We have recently opened the Pyramid Complex of Unas in Saqqara and the Tombs of Nefertari in Luxor. We also lowered the ticket price for groups of 15 people or fewer from EGP 19,000 to EGP 1,000.

The ministry also opened the first permanent exhibition for high-quality replicas at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir last week. I want to point out that garnering large revenues is not necessary at first, as the exhibition will serve as an initiative to improve revenues by opening similar exhibitions abroad.

What is the ministry’s plan for fully utilising archaeological sites, cafeterias, and bazaars near them?

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has cut down the rent value by 60% for cafeterias and 70% for bazaars. We aim to encourage tenants to continue their leases.

The council has also launched a closed-envelope bid to rent out 15 closed cafeterias and bazaars near archaeological sites. The committee to decide on the bid will meet next week and award the cafeterias and bazaars, after receiving all technical and financial bids. The 15 cafeterias and bazaars offered last week were in Cairo, Giza, Suez, Luxor, and Aswan... Read More.

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.
More About Islamic Art Museum News Click Here 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Short Story: Treasure House

The Museum of Islamic Art, damaged by a car bomb explosion in 2014, will once again light up Bab Al-Khalq in downtown Cairo, writes Nevine El-Aref

On Port Said Street in the Bab Al-Khalq neighbourhood of Cairo stands the lofty, honey-coloured edifice of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) with its neo-Mameluke architecture and luxurious façade hidden beneath iron scaffoldings and large green and gray sheets.

A car bomb in January 2014 at the adjacent Cairo Security Directorate rocked the capital and blew a six-metre crater into Port Said Street while also ripping into the façade of the two-storey MIA building whose second floor is shared with the National Library and Archives.

However, inside the institution the picture is totally different from what was the mess outside. Work is at full swing to complete restoration in time for a new opening. Workers are spread out everywhere inside the MIA’s exhibition halls fixing the lighting, erecting new showcases in the newly created galleries and placing artefacts in others. “I cannot give a specific day the museum will open but I can affirm that it is very soon,” Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Eldamaty said the United Arab Emirates was working hard in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities to rescue the MIA and its priceless collection that reflects the glory of Islamic civilisation. He said the UAE was the first country to respond to the Egyptian campaign, launched shortly after the bombing, to finance the work and took responsibility for rehabilitating the inside of the museum.

“We are thankful to the UAE for its full support in bringing the museum back to its former glory in collaboration with Egyptian and foreign experts,” Eldamaty said, adding that UNESCO had contributed $100,000 while many countries, NGOs and the private sector provided additional support. The Italian government gave €800,000, the American Research Centre in Cairo will restore the museum’s façade, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Germany and Austria trained museum curators and restorers.

“Ninety per cent of the MIA restoration works have been completed,” Elham Salah, head of the Museum Section, told the Weekly.

Salah said the façade, building and halls had been restored and new state-of-the-art security and lighting systems were installed. All the mountings required to erect the large artefacts displayed out of showcases were replaced and new showcases were put in their display positions.

Now, Salah added, the collection is being rearranged the way it was 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 as well as another hall for Islamic manuscripts. One hall exhibits the daily life of people down the Islamic ages, instruments and children’s toys.

“After the addition of these objects the MIA collection increased to 5,000 artefacts from 1,874 items,” Salah said, adding that among the items are 2,000 coins. “What remains are the final touches,” MIA General Director Ahmed Al-Shoki said, such as the iron shades on the façade’s windows as well as a polish and retouches of a few walls.

Al-Shoki said 90 per cent of the showcases had been erected and that the curators were currently putting the treasured MIA collection inside them. Al-Shoki said the original plan was to re-display the MIA collection according to its previous exhibition scenario but that a few changes had to be made in order to introduce a new display concept to MIA visitors.

Before the changes, Al-Shoki told the Weekly that a study had been carried out by the museum’s curators and restorers to see what was amiss in the MIA’s original exhibition. The gift shop has been relocated to the MIA museological garden outside the museum halls. In its place has come a hall for Islamic weapons and coins.

All open showcases have been closed, he said, to prevent dust affecting the artefacts. A collection of 14 new showcases has been installed and a new display concept designed for the museum’s entrance hall to reflect the contribution of Islamic civilisation.

The entrance hall now has five showcases, Al-Shoki explains, displaying objects reflecting the main elements that made up the birth of Islamic civilisation.

In the middle is a showcase displaying a huge book of the Holy Qur’an from the Omayyad period and near it, the oldest key of Al-Kaaba from Al-Ashraf Shaaban’s tenure representing the pilgrimage. The remaining three items are lamps decorated with Kufic writing representing Arabic literature, a pot from Iran to show the contribution of non-Arab countries in Islamic civilisation, and an astrolabe showing scientific Arab development. A wooden door decorated with foliage and geometric elements is also among the objects on display at the entrance.

“Artefacts that were damaged in the explosion and restored are also put on display within the collection but are distinguishable from the other objects by a golden label placed beside them,” Al-Shoki said.

He said the blast had damaged 179 pieces; 90 were completely restored while 10, all carved in glass, are beyond repair. Among the most important were a rare decorated Ayyubid jar and an Omayyad plate carved in porcelain.

A three-month exhibition for damaged and restored objects will be held at the opening of the MIA, with written narratives showing the efforts being exerted to return the objects back to their original look and the restoration carried out to return MIA to life....... Read More.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

News, Cairo: 'Magical Shirt' to Protect Against Diseases Set for Display at Renovated MIA

The Museum of Islamic Art, damaged in a powerful car bombing in 2014 targeting an adjacent building, is set to reopen December after nearly two years of restoration work. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities is to open next month the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) after almost two years of restoration work. In January 2014, the museum was damaged after powerful car bomb exploded outside the adjacent Cairo Security Directorate. 

The façade of the museum was completely destroyed, glass windows broken, and ceilings inside the museum fell down with a large number of artifacts damaged. In August 2014, the United Arab Emirates adopted the museum's restoration scheme and in December the museum is finally to be re-inaugurated.

MIA Director General Ahmed El-Shoki said that the display arrangement at the museum has been changed, with artefacts now exhibited in three topics: first, Islamic objects from Egypt's history; second, items from other Islamic countries; third, artefacts according to their use, such as writing, daily life and medicine.

The medicine hall, El-Shoki continued, is to put on display a collection of medical equipment used during the Abbasid era, as well as surgical instruments and medical manuscripts on the medicinal benefits of herbs. Medical terminologies and pharmacological components used by the Arab physician Ibn Sina are also on show. 

"The most distinguished artefact on display in the medicine hall is the Iranian shirt known as the "Magical Shirt," El-Shoki told Ahram Online, adding that the shirt goes back to the Safavid Iranian era and is decorated with spells that protect its wearer from any diseases.

One of the spells, said El-Shoki, reads: "The person who wears this shirt will be protected from diseases, pains and assassination."  He continued that it seems the spell did not last long, as the shirt bears traces of blood, suggesting that the person who wore it was injured or killed. The shirt came to the museum in the 1960s and is now under restoration before being exhibited.
Source: Ahram Online
More About Islamic Art Museum News Click Here 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

News: The United Arab Emirates is to restore the MIA

The Rehabilitation of the Museum of Islamic Art is to start soon after the United Arab Emirates adopts its restoration

A hall inside the MIA before damaged
After a seven-month hiatus, restoration work of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in central Cairo is finally set to begin. The MIA was subjected to severe destruction and damage in January after a car bomb exploded outside the adjacent Cairo Security Directorate. The blast of the bomb destroyed the façade of the building and the nearby Egyptian National Library and Archives building.

After several meetings and discussion, The United Arab of Emirates offered to restore the whole museum in collaboration with foreign experts from Italy, Germany and the United States.

Antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that the Emirates will not only provide the required budget to return the MIA to its original lure but to provide all security equipment and state-of-the-art showcases. The restoration will also include the renovation of the museum’s walls, columns and foundations.

He went on to say that the museum halls and treasured collection will be arranged as they were before with the exception of the souvenir hall that was located in the core of the museum. “It will be relocated to another place at the end of visitors’ path,” explained Eldamaty.

He said that in mid-September a delegation of the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) is to visit Egypt and embark on a tour of the MIA to inspect its recent situation and suggest ideas for its restoration. Collaboration methods are to be also discussed.

The Museum of Islamic Art was home to an exceptional collection of rare woodwork and plaster artefacts, as well as metal, ceramic, glass, crystal, and textiles objects of all Islamic periods from all over the world. 


Damages inside the MIA
The museum is a two-story building, with the lower floor containing an exhibition hall that displays 2,500 artefacts in 25 galleries. The second floor and the basement are to be used for storage.

The blast of the car-bomb not only destroyed the façade of the building, but also damaged the large columns at its front. The interior of the museum was topsy-turvy, with a number of ceilings inside the building collapsing, and some artefacts being damaged.

Many of the glass window panes that once decorated the building have also been shattered, and damage has been caused across the façade, which has lost some of its decorative casing.

The authentic wooden gate of the museum inlaid with silver and iron geometric motifs has been totally destroyed, while the adjacent annex built in a similar architectural style to house the administrative offices after the museum’s restoration and re-inauguration in 2010 has also been damaged …… Now a new hope is in the air.
Source: Ahram Online

Saturday, January 25, 2014

NEWS: Museum of Islamic Art WILL BE BACK

UNESCO has released a statement "firmly condemning" damage to Egypt's Museum of Islamic Arts. Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General, expressed her grave concern over the destruction the blast has "caused to the world-renowned [museum]" and its "thousands of invaluable artifacts." Bokova also pledged to mobilise UNESCO resources to help rebuild the museum.

"This is as essential for the people of Egypt as it is for women and men across the world," she declared. "This heritage is part of the universal story of humanity, shared by all, and we must do everything to safeguard it."Bokova further applauded Egypt's Ministry of State for Antiquities for responding to the museum's location so quickly and taking all the necessary steps to rescue damaged artifacts.

Before and After: Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art

Yesterday, one of the most renowned Islamic museums in the world, described as “a light in the heart of Cairo” by Zahi Hawass is destroyed.

According to the Ministry of Aniquities, the museum’s interior decoration and infrastructure have been severely damaged and several antiquities have been destroyed by the Jan. 24 explosion. The extent of the interior damage remains unknown, but pictures show devastating damage to the building’s exterior from the bomb blast, including the museum’s iconic façade.

As of 2014, the Museum of Islamic Art displayed one of the most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the world with over 100,000 artifacts in its possession. “We chose objects that tell us about different periods of Islamic civilization and this is really shown in a beautiful way,” explained Adrien Gardere, an expert on Islamic art who helped organize the museum’s interior. Priceless antiquities included one of the oldest and most rare copies of the Quran.

The renovation masterplan and the design for the new exhibition were drawn up by French designer and museographer Adrien Gardère in cooperation with the Islamic Department of the Louvre Museum in Paris, which has in the past advised on the reorganisation of the museum's collections.


The Museum of Islamic Arts first opened in 1881 with an initial display of 111 objects gathered from mosques and mausoleums across Egypt. Its first home was in the arcades of the mosque of the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah. Because of the rapid increase in the size of the collection, however, a new building was constructed in the courtyard of the mosque in 1883. Construction began in 1899 on a building in Bab El-Khalq, a stone's throw from the centre of Islamic Cairo, that would give the museum its own space. This building opened its doors in 1903 with a collection of 3,154 objects. Since then the museum has become the primary home for the national collection of Islamic art.

Official website for Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo CLICK HERE

Pictures of Museum of Islamic Art after renovation CLICK HERE


Youtube video copied from AhramOnline channel
Video and Edit by Rachel Beth Anderson / Music by Esteem
Comments by Dr. Zahi Hawass & French Designer Adrien Gardere
** Full article "In Focus: Museum of Islamic Art" CLICK HERE
** An article about Museum of Islamic Art from AhramOnline - November 2010 by Nevine El-Aref "A Century of Islamic Art for All" CLICK HERE