Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The Fox Grotto Museum near Marsa Matrouh has been officially reopened after seven years of closure. Nevine El-Aref attended the ceremony.
On Egypt’s Mediterranean coast near the town of Marsa Matrouh stands the Fox Grotto Museum welcoming visitors and summer holidaymakers. After seven years of closure for restoration and development, the museum, the place where German army field-marshal Erwin Rommel, the so-called “Desert Fox,” hid in the area’s cliffs and planned German military operations against the British during World War II, was finally reopened by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Matrouh governor Alaa Abu-Zeid this week.
Rommel was one of Germany’s leading field commanders in World War II, and he was famous for his courage, determination and leadership. He fought the 12-day Battle of Alamein against the British from 23 October 1942, only to retreat on 4 November in the face of an onslaught by British troops. According to a plaque at the Cave Museum, Rommel died in October 1944, having been accused of plotting against the life of German dictator Adolf Hitler and given the choice of either standing trial or quietly committing suicide to ensure the safety of his family. Rommel chose the latter course, and his death was announced as having been due to a heart attack.
The cave is located in front of Rommel Beach in Marsa Matrouh, and it was originally cut out of the rocky cliffs during the Roman period as a storage space due to its position near an ancient seaport. When the German troops entered Al-Alamein, Rommel selected the cave as his headquarters because it was hidden in the cliffs overlooking the harbour. In 1977, 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.
The museum is not like any other in Egypt, as it is cave-shaped with showcases installed within its walls. Some artefacts are exhibited freely on the rocks. It contains Rommel’s full-length leather coat, clothes trunk, photographs, field telephone, compass, military attire, maps he drew himself, battle plans and medals he received. Copies of a newspaper produced by Rommel’s troops in Africa during the war called Al-Waha (Oasis) are also on display, as well as boxes housing the files of German soldiers from the time.
“The reopening of the Cave Museum highlights the aim of the Ministry of Antiquities to promote tourism through opening new attractions as well as increasing archaeological awareness among people in general,” El-Enany told the Al-Ahram Weekly. He described the development of the museum as “a positive example of collaboration between the ministry and the governorate.” The Matrouh governorate had allocated a budget of LE2.5 million to restore the cave.... READ MORE.
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.
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.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Work At The Marsa-Matrouh Library To Prepare The Halls To Host Artifacts
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.
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.
The Egyptian Mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the ...
The myth of red mercury, a substance supposedly found in the throats of ancient Egyptian mummies, is still widespread in Egypt, writes Zah...
A collection of 71 artifacts were transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum in preparation for its opening in 2020. Written By/ Nevine El-A...
New Discovery, Kafr El-Sheikh: Remains of Royal Ancient Egyptian Artefacts Uncovered in Tel Al-PharaeenAt least one of the pieces uncovered in Kafr El-Sheikh dates to the reign of King Psamtik I. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref. An Egyptian e...