Thursday, January 10, 2019
Egypt has retrieved an ancient artifact illegally smuggled out of the country after being displayed at an auction hall in London, the antiquities ministry said. Witten By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The piece, a cartouche of King Amenhotep I, was identified following observation of international auction websites, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The ministry took all the necessary measures to stop the sale of the relief and withdraw it from auction,” it added.
The ministry did not elaborate on when or how the artifact was stolen and smuggled out of the country.
The relic was earlier exhibited at the open museum of the ancient temple of Karnak in the southern city of Luxor, the ministry's repatriation department director Shaaban Abdel-Gawad said.
The Egyptian embassy in London received the piece last September following coordination between the foreign ministry, the embassy and British authorities, Abdel-Gawad added.
Earlier this month, the BBC reported that the only casing stone from the Great Pyramid of Giza will be displayed at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from 8 February.
The large block of fine white limestone will go on show for the first time outside Egypt and the first time since it arrived in Scotland in 1872, the BBC said.
Abdel-Gawad told Ahram Online last week that Egypt would send an official inquiry to Scotland asking for a certificate of possession and export documents for the stone, adding that Egyptian authorities will take all necessary step to recover the piece if it was proved to be smuggled out of the country.
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Monday, June 11, 2018
The submission of pre-qualification applications is scheduled for Tuesday, 24 July, after which a list of qualified applicants will be announced mid-August. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Towards the rear of the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), where the granite colossus of King Ramses II proudly stands, Egypt's ministers of investment and international cooperation, antiquities and tourism, and Giza's governor, gathered along with a group of foreign ambassadors to Egypt.
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced Sunday in a press conference addressing local and international companies and consortiums the opening of a pre-qualification stage for those hoping to bid for the contract to manage and operate facilities at the GEM complex overlooking the Giza Plateau. The press conference was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, and supported by the Ministry of Tourism.
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said that GEM's facilities include a conference centre for 1,000 people, a cinema for 500 people, 10 restaurants, with two overlooking the Giza pyramids, food courts, bookshops and other retail outlets, a traditional arts and crafts centre, and a multifunctional building that could be for administrative purposes or as a boutique hotel.
El-Enany asserted that the Ministry of Antiquities is the only authority responsible for the management and security of GEM‘s treasured collection as well as anything related to antiquities, such as exhibition halls, the maintenance and restoration centre, and the children’s museum.
Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat said that GEM, the largest and most significant cultural project in process globally, is going to be a wonderful tourism attraction that blends history with a modern and authentic twist. “Egypt is the world’s capital of cultural tourism,” she pointed out, adding that nothing will make a bolder statement than when this magnificent museum has its official opening.
"And to complement GEM, the Giza Plateau is undergoing a massive renovation project to include boutique hotels, restaurants and cinemas and we’re determined to give all that come to visit the most wonderful experience," Al-Mashat said. "The whole undertaking will reflect the splendor of Egyptian history in an attractive and modern way for international visitors, and for everyone throughout Egypt," she added. Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr expressed her happiness to be at GEM to announce the launch of the prequalification stage of bidding for the facilities management contract.
She described the GEM complex as a state-of-the-art, world class destination, and cultural and touristic hub comprising large investment opportunities. “These opportunities are available online on the investment map where investors are encouraged to explore the area and location and see nearest facilities services and other landmarks,” she pointed out… READ MORE.
Monday, May 14, 2018
Recovered Antiquities: Cairo International Airport Officials Foil Attempt to Smuggle Old Manuscripts out of Egypt
The find includes a document that dates back to the 16th century. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Officials of the Antiquities Unit of the Customs Department at Cairo International Airport on Sunday foiled an attempt to smuggle a collection of old manuscripts and documents that date back several centuries out of Egypt.
Hamdy Hammam, head of the Central Administration of Seized Antiquities Unit told Ahram Online that the manuscripts were contained in three books, while ten other documents were packed in seven separate parcels on their way to an Arab country.
According to Ali Ramadan, director of the Archaeological Unit at the airport's cargo village, one book is entitled Summary of the Speeches of the Princes of the Holy House.
The 277-page text is imprinted with red and black ink and bears several dates from 948-1299 Hijri (1541/2-1881/2 CE).
The second book includes of 20 pages and is dated 28 Jumada II 1334 Hijri (1915/6 CE). The third has 56 pages and bears the date 1265 Hijri (1848/9 CE).
The ten documents belong to the Egyptian Survey Authority and are dated from 1239 to 1251 Hijri (1823/4 - 1835/6 CE).
An archaeological committee from the Ministry of Antiquities has inspected and verified the authenticity of the items.
The documents and manuscripts were confiscated according to Antiquities Protection Law, No. 117 of 1983 and its amendments, and will be held until the investigation's conclusion.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
News Giza: Egyptian Antiquities Minister Assures That Last Week's Fire did Little Damage to Grand Egyptian Museum
El-Enany with media at the GEM
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany escorted members of the media on a tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza to show that the fire that broke out at the museum last week did little damage to the museum. Written by/ Nevine El-Aref.
The visit included a tour of the museum buildings as well as the display of the King Ramses II colossus and artifacts at the GEM’s conservation centre.
Last Sunday, a minor fire broke out on the wooden scaffolding on the museum’s rear façade. No one was harmed and no artifacts were damaged in the fire. One hour after the fire broke out, the museum’s fire station, with aid from Civilian Security fire trucks, succeeded in extinguishing the flames, Mostafa Waziri Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said at the time.
An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the blaze. The GEM is currently under construction, with scaffolding positioned outside several buildings.
The museum is being built to house antiquities from ancient Egypt, including many items currently held at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square. A partial opening is planned for later this year.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
News, Cairo: Exhibition of Artifacts from Deir al-Bersha to Open Thursday at Egyptian Museum in Tahrir
The exhibition celebrates 120 years of excavations at the Minya governorate site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
A temporary exhibition highlighting 120 years of archaeological excavations in Deir el-Barsha in Minya will open Thursday evening at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. Under the title Life in Death: The Middle Kingdom at Deir el-Bersha, the exhibition will be officially inaugurated by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Belgiun Ambassador to Egypt Sibille de Cartier and German Ambassador Julius Georg Loew.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, KU Leuven University in Belgium and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany. The event will be attended by the head of the Belgium-Germany Archaeological Mission, a number of ambassadors to Egypt from foreign counties, Egyptian members of parliament and top officials at the antiquities ministry.
Elham Salah, Head of the Museums Sector at the ministry, told Ahram Online that the exhibition will be on display for 30 days and will showcase 70 artifacts from the discoveries at Deir Al-Bersha, which were previously spread throught the museum’s various galleries or concealed in its basement.
“The artefacts will for the first time be displayed together,” she pointed out, revealing that the objects include the distinguished funerary collection from the tomb of Sepi III.
Among Sepi III's artefacts are the rectangular box coffins, inscribed with religious funerary texts, known as coffin texts, which helped the deceased to travel through the afterlife. Also among the displaed items are wooden models found in the tomb, which often depicting activities from daily life such as making food and drink.
The aim of such models was so that the deceased could enjoy these activities in eternity. Trays found in the tombs of Sepi I, Sepi III and Nehri I will also be on display. These trays, Salah said, are unique as they are made of painted cartonnage, consisting of a layer of gypsum.
The individual offerings on these trays are also made of cartonnage, painted in intricate detail, allowing for the easy identification of objects.
Sabah Abdel-Razek, General-Director of the Egyptian Museum, said that the site at Deir Al-Bersha is located 280 km south of Cairo and is best known as the burial place of the Middle Kingdom governors of el-Ashmunein (c. 2055-1650 BCE).
The governors built elaborately decorated tombs high on the North Hill of the Eastern Desert cliffs, while important officials were buried in tomb shafts in the vicinity of their lords.
The earliest excavations at Deir el-Bersha began in 1897 when the French Egyptologist Georges Daressy began exploring the site on behalf of the Egyptian Antiquities Service. His most spectacular find was the intact burial chamber of Sepi III.
The first Egyptian Egyptologist, Ahmed Kamal, continued to work at Deir el-Bersha from 1900-1902. He excavated several of the elite shaft tombs on the North Hill, including those of Amenemhat and Nehri I.
During their expeditions, she explains, Daressy and Kamal discovered an impressive collection of exemplary Middle Kingdom funerary equipment, such as wooden tomb models and decorated coffins. The majority of these objects are kept in the Egyptian Museum and many will be on display in this exhibit.
In 1915, American Egyptologist George Andrew Reisner excavated for two months at Deir el-Bersha. His most important discovery was the nearly intact tomb of governor Djehutinakht IV or V. Since 2002 KU Leuven University has resumed excavations at this site, reinvestigating several of the areas where these prior excavations took place.
KU Leuven University has also collaborated with the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz since 2009 on excavations of five large tomb shafts in front of the tomb of governor Djehutihotep, most of the contents of which are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
The month-long exhibition, which marks the centenary of French excavations at Deir Al-Medina, opens on Thursday night. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square opens a temporary exhibition on Thursday night focused on the artisans of Luxor's Deir Al-Medina archaeological site.
Titled “The Artisans of the Pharaohs through their Artworks”, the month-long show also marks the centenary of French archaeological research, excavation and restoration at the site.
On show for the first time will be a collection of 52 artefacts discovered by the French mission at Deir Al-Medina, along with documents and photos from the archive of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO), Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online.
The artifacts, she explains, reflect the daily life, the faith and the funerary rituals of the Deir Al-Medina artisans. Among the most important objects are a statue of Sanejem, lintels of kings Amenhotep I and II, as well as a painted limestone ostraca.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Back Home, Cyprus: 14 Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Including Amulets, Vase, to Be Returned From Cyprus - Ministry
The objects include an alabaster vase inscribed with King Ramses II's cartouche, and 13 amulets of different shapes, sizes and materials. Written By / Nevine El-Aref.
The Egyptian embassy in Cyprus is set to receive a collection of 14 artefacts that have been stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country within a matter of days, an Egyptian antiquities official has said.
The objects include an alabaster vase inscribed with King Ramses II's cartouche, and 13 amulets of different shapes, sizes and materials. The subjects include the goddesses Sekhmet, Neith, Isis, and the Udjat and Djed symbols. Ushabti figurines are also among the collection.
Shaaban Abdel Gawad, director-general of the Antiquities Repatriation Department, told Ahram Online that the retrieval of these objects started last year when Interpol reported that it had seized a collection of stolen ancient Egyptian artefacts in Nicosia.
The Repatriation Department, he said, carried out its own investigations and discovered that the seized objects were illegally smuggled out of the country after the passing of the Antiquities Law in 1983 and arrived in Cyprus in 1986, which means Egypt has a right of recovery.
In collaboration with Egypt's ministries of foreign affairs, justice and international cooperation, said Abdel Gawad, Cyprus has approved Egypt's right to retrieve the artifacts and they will be returned shortly.
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Sunday, October 29, 2017
The artifacts were seized in 2010 after they were found in the possession of a French citizen at a train station in France, a source from Egypt’s antiquities ministry told Ahram Online.
The artifacts were seized after the citizen failed to produce a deed proving ownership, and were sent to the Louvre museum for authentication. The artifacts are to be handed to the Egyptian ambassador to France at a gala ceremony on Thursday. Further details on the nature of the artifacts are expected to be announced after their arrival to Egypt, the source said.
The Ministry of Antiquities is to start a restoration and rehabilitation project for Bab Al-Azab area in Mediaeval Cairo, the scene of Mohamed Ali Pasha's infamous massacre of the Mameluks. Written By/Nevine El-Aref.
The Permanent Committee for Islamic and Coptic Antiquities has approved a project for the restoration of Bab Al-Azab, part of a Ministry of Antiquities plan to restore and develop a series of monuments in Historic Cairo.
Mohamed Abdel Aziz, director-general of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project, said that the Bab Al-Azab restoration project is to be executed in three phases over a 10-month period, with a grant from the American Research Centre in Cairo (ARCE). He explained that the first phase aims to consolidate the monumental structures of Bab Al-Azab, as well as removing the debris and garbage that has accumulated in the vicinity.
The project will include minor restoration work on the two doors of the Bab Al-Azab, along with its woodwork and windows. The blocks of the walls will be maintained and consolidated in an attempt to prevent erosion prior to the start of comprehensive restoration work. The second phase, Abdel Aziz said, includes the full scientific documentation of every structure of the Bab Al-Azab, as well as preparing a plan for its restoration. Studies to rehabilitate the site and bring it back into use will also be provided. The third and final phase consists of workshops and seminars to prepare a plan for the preservation of the buildings. This will involve the establishment of a group of young archaeologists and architects, especially from the local community, to ensure the preservation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the area and its historic structures.
Bab Al-Azab is the gate that once protected the original entrance to the Citadel. It was rebuilt in 1754 by Abd el-Rahman Katkhuda, from which the brass-bound wooden doors date. The gate witnessed the massacre of the Mameluks conducted by Mohamed Ali Pasha in 1811.
Monday, October 23, 2017
The object is carved of limestone and decorated with a cross and Coptic texts. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Egyptian archaeologists in Luxor have stumbled upon a decorative Coptic tombstone buried on the eastern side of the Sphinxes Avenue, under Al-Mathan Bridge. The tombstone is carved of limestone and decorated with a cross and Coptic texts, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online.
The exact date of the object has not yet been ascertained, nor the identity of the deceased. However, Mostafa Al-Saghir, director of the Sphinxes Avenue, said experts are now studying the tombstone find out.
The excavations in the Sphinxes Avenue are part of a Ministry of Antiquities programme to restore the area and transform it into an open-air museum. The avenue was the location for the procession of the Festival of Opet, which included priests, royalty and the pious, who walked from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple. Some 1,350 sphinxes, with human heads and lion bodies, lined the 2,700-metre- long avenue, and many of them have been now been restored.
The avenue was built during the reign of Pharaoh Nectanebo I to replace an earlier one built in the 18th Dynasty, as recorded by Queen Hatshepsut (1502-1482 BC) on the walls of her red chapel in Karnak Temple. Hatshepsut built six chapels dedicated to the god Amun-Re on the route of the avenue during her reign, demonstrating its longevity as a place of religious significance.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
The Collection Subjected to Smuggling
Ahmed Al-Rawi, head of the Seized Antiquities Unit at the Ministry of Antiquities, explained that the items were seized at Badr City's dry land port, confiscated, and sent to the ministry because they fall under the legal category of Egyptian antiquities, which are protected by the Antiquities Law 117 of 1983 and its later amendment in law 3, 2010.
Ahmed Fatouh, Director of the Antiquities Units in Dry Land Ports, said that the collection includes a vase decorated with flora and fauna as well as a rose-colored tea set of five cups, complete with plates and a sugar container, which depict a European woman surrounded by plants.
Director of the Badr Antiquities Unit, Mamdouh Abu Amar, said that also among the confiscated lot were two metal jardinière bearing the monogram of Egypt's King Farouk. Illegally transported antiquities and heritage items are a common find at Egyptian ports.
El-Rawi told Ahram Online that authorities at Cairo International Airport recently seized original scripts for a well-known Egyptian radio program, "Tasali," which aired in the 1970s and 1980s and was presented by famous Egyptian anchor Inas Gohar.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
The ministry is hoping to promote Egypt's archaeological sites and museums via adverts and brochures in hotels. Written B/ Nevine El-Aref.
The ministry of antiquities is launching a new initiative in collaboration with hotels to promote museums and archaeological sites.
Elham Salah, head of the ministry’s Museum Department, told Ahram Online that the initiative started this week at one of Egypt's hotels, where a large advertisement was placed in the lobby.
The banner shows photos of the Museum of Islamic Art’s collection, its opening hours and a map of some of the country's archaeological sites. A collection of brochures about the museum will also be put in every room of the hotel.
"If the initiative proves success it will be extended to all hotels around Egypt," Salah said.
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