Showing posts with label Reopening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reopening. Show all posts

Monday, March 5, 2018

Re-Openning, Sharqiya: Tel Basta Museum Inaugurated in Egypt's Zagazig

After eight years in limbo, the site museum of Tel Basta in Zagazig, Sharqiya, was inaugurated Saturday. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Sharqiya Governor Khaled Saeed inaugurated Saturday Tel Basta Museum in Sharqiya governorate after the completion of its restoration.

The inauguration of the museum comes within the framework of efforts by the Ministry of Antiquities to increase the archaeological and heritage awareness of Sharqiya inhabitants as well as creating more tourist attractions across Egypt.

During the ceremony, El-Enany announced that visits to the museum would be free this week to celebrate the museum’s long-awaited opening.

Waadalla Abu El-Ela, head of the Projects Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the ministry started construction work on the museum in 2006. In 2010, construction was completed but the project put on hold, resuming at the end of 2017.

Elham Salah, head of the Museums Sector at the Ministry of Antquities, explained that the second phase of the project, concerning the interior design of the museum, aimed to showcase the history of Sharqiya and the excavation work that has been carried out within its boundaries. New lighting and security systems were installed and new showcases fabricated to host the artifacts along with descriptive panels on the history of Sharqiya.

“The objects on display are the result of archaeological excavations in Sharqiya,” Salah told Ahram Online. She added that the collection includes canopic jars, terracotta statuettes, clay pots of different shapes and sizes, domestic instruments, coins, statuette deities, tombstones, offering tables, and jewellery.
One of the showcases is devoted to Sharqiya's main ancient Egyptian deity, the cat shaped goddess Bastet.

French Egyptologist Pierre Montei discovered the Temple of Amun in Tanis in 1939 as well as a group of royal tombs from the Late Period, such as those for the kings Psusennes I and Shosinenq II.

In 2009, the joint French-Egyptian mission discovered the location of the sacred lake of the goddess Mut’s temple, the second sacred lake to be revealed on the site. In 2013, in Tel-El-Yahudia area, a mission from the antiquities ministry uncovered a huge fortification of mud brick inside the Hyksos fortress, as well as a residential city on its northeastern corner. A collection of oil lamps and faience tiles once used to decorate the palace of the kings Meneptah and his father Ramses II was also unearthed.

In Tel-El-Pharaeen, British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie discovered the ruins of the ancient city, including residential areas and the ruins of the city’s temple devoted to the goddess Wadjet.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Re-Opening, Cairo: Egyptian Monuments Reopen

Three Mameluke monuments in Islamic Cairo are to be reopened to the public after restoration. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref. 
Three Mameluke-period monuments, the Al-Muayyedi Bimaristan, the Tekkeyet Al-Bustami and the Darb Al-Laban Gate in Islamic Cairo are to be reopened to the public next week after restoration work.

A Bimaristan is a Mameluke hospital, while a tekkeya is a Sufi charitable building. The buildings have been shrouded in scaffolding for the past three years as restoration work continues, with it being slated to finally come off next week.

The monuments, like others in heavily populated areas, were suffering from environmental dangers, including air pollution, high subsoil water levels, high levels of humidity, water leakage, the effects of a decayed sewerage system installed 100 years ago, and the adverse effects of the 1992 earthquake that increased the number of cracks in their walls, leading in some cases to partial collapse. 

“One of the most serious causes of the damage to the buildings has been encroachment from the monuments’ neighbours who used the tekkeya for example as a residential building and the bimaristan as a garbage dump,” Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, director of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project that supervised the work, told Al-Ahram Weekly.

He said the walls of the three monuments had cracked and partly collapsed, masonry was damaged, and the condition of the ceilings was critical. Decorations were heavily damaged and several parts were missing, while most of the flooring was broken.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said the restoration had been carried out according to the latest scientific methods. “Every effort was made to ensure that all the original architectural features were retained,” he said, adding that the restoration of the buildings had had important advantages in that individual monuments were being preserved for future generations and the entire neighbourhood was being revived and upgraded.

Abdel-Aziz said that the aim of the restoration was mainly to strengthen and consolidate the monuments and protect them from future damage. The walls were reinforced, cracks were treated, façades were consolidated, missing and decayed stones were replaced, and masonry was cleaned and desalinated. Tilted pillars and walls were readjusted to their original positions, broken woodwork was re-installed and missing parts were replaced with others of the same shape, size and material.

The ceilings were consolidated and insulated with special material to prevent the leakage of rainwater into the monuments. A special system was also designed to accumulate rainwater in one place and feed it into the main sewage system.

The areas surrounding the three monuments were cleaned, restored and upgraded in order to be venues hosting cultural events as well as for holding workshops to raise the cultural awareness of their inhabitants.


The Al-Muayyedi Bimaristan was built by one of the most important Circassian Mameluke sultans to rule Egypt, Al-Muayyad Sheikh Al-Mahmoudi, who reigned between 1418 and 1420 CE. The Bimaristan is the second public hospital still remaining from the period after that of the Mameluke sultan Qalawun built in 1284 in Al-Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo…. READ MORE.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

News, Luxor: Free Visit to Tutankhamun's Tomb, 17 October

To celebrate 200 years since the discovery of the King Seti I tomb, a free visit to King Tutankhamun's tomb will be available to Seti tomb visitors 17 October. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Ministry of Antiquities is offering visitors to King Seti I tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor's west bank a free visit to the neighbouring King Tutankhamun's tomb.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the free visit would be only for one day, Wednesday, 17 October, for King Seti I visitors. He explains that the free visit to the Tutankhamun tomb comes within the framework of the ministry's celebration of the 200the anniversary of the discovery of the King Seti I tomb.

King Seti I ruled during the 19th Dynasty and his tomb is among the deepest and longest of all tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It is 100 metres long and was uncovered by Italian archaeologist Giovanni Belzoni in October 1817.

The tomb later became known as the "Apis tomb" because a mummified bull was unearthed in a side room off the burial chamber.

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.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Short Story: Zamalek Arts Centre Reopens

The Aisha Fahmi Palace Arts Centre in Zamalek reopened to the public earlier this week after seven years of restoration

Overlooking the Nile Corniche in the elegant Cairo district of Zamalek stands the Aisha Fahmi Palace, its distinguished Italian architecture relating the history of the fine arts in Egypt and the role played in promoting them by international and Egyptian artists and architects.

After it was constructed by Italian architect Antonio Lasciac in 1907, the 2,700 metre square palace was the residence of Ali Fahmi, the head of the army during the reign of king Fouad I. After his death, his sister, Aisha Fahmi, made the palace her home, spending the rest of her life there until her death in 1962.

The Ministry of Culture then bought the palace, transforming it into ministry offices. In 1971, it became a storehouse for the Ministry of Information, and late president Anwar Al-Sadat suggested converting the palace into a residence for his deputy. However, in 1975 the palace was given to the Fine Art and Literature Authority and converted into the first fine arts complex in Egypt.

This complex, or mogamaa al-fonoun, went on to host several international exhibitions displaying the works of renowned modern artists such as Picasso and Dali. In the early 1990s, the palace was put on Egypt’s heritage list because of its distinguished architectural style and its exquisite artistic elements.

The palace is a three-storey building including 30 rooms and two halls, a basement level and a roof terrace. The basement was originally used as a residential area for servants, the first floor was the reception area, while the second floor was originally Fahmi’s living area. The palace’s ceilings are decorated with frescoes embellished with golden arcades. Some of the walls are decorated with French tapestries, while others are covered with silk.

Probably the most striking rooms in the palace are the Japanese, billiards and green rooms. The Japanese room is the smallest room on the first floor, and its walls are covered with red silk decorated with golden Japanese lettering and scenes of landscapes in Japan. One of the room’s walls is decorated with drawings relating a folkloric Japanese tale. The ceiling is covered with wood painted with images of Japanese bonsai trees.

The room is furnished with Japanese furniture in red, gold and black. The most distinguished pieces in the room are two large golden statues of the Buddha on red bases.

The billiards room is a medium-sized room equipped with all the required equipment for playing billiards, such as the table, the cues and the competitor board, the latter being rather like the board used in horse racing where the names of the horses are written and on which the winning horse is put on top.

The green room is a very distinctive room. On each of its walls, there is a picture of a woman in a gold frame, all the pictures being in different styles and by different artists. The restorer of the palace, Mohamed Abdel-Baki, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the portraits of the women are thought to be pictures of Aisha Fahmi and her friends.... READ MORE.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Re-Opening Museum, Cairo: Egyptian Museum of Islamic Art Now Open in The Evening on Saturdays

Fountain on Display at The MIA
As part of an effort by the Ministry of Antiquities to increase historical awareness among Egyptians, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Babul Khalq will be open for visitors on Saturdays till 9pm. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Elham Salah, the head of the Museums Department at the ministry, said that in addition to its regular hours of 9am to 4pm, the museum will now also be open from 5pm to 9pm on Saturdays starting this week.

Salah added that this move aims at attracting more visitors as well as promoting museum tours in Egypt.

A cultural programme will be also held in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture at the MIA garden every Saturday evening to entertain museum visitors.

The MIA is the second museum to recently extend its visiting hours into the evening. The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir is now open on Sunday and Thursday from 5pm to 9pm.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Short Story: Aswan Annex Reopens

After seven years of closure the Aswan Museum Annex on Elephantine Island has reopened to the public. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

 Khalil explaining the content of a pharaonic marriage contract
On a rocky hill on the south-eastern side of Elephantine Island at Aswan in Upper Egypt stands the white clapboard building of the Aswan Museum, waiting for restoration. The edifice was originally built in 1898 as the villa of the Old Aswan Dam’s British designer, Sir William Willcocks.

In 1912, the house was converted into a museum displaying antiquities that had been discovered in Aswan and Nubia. Nearby, a modern 220 square metre annex was built and inaugurated in 1998 to house artefacts unearthed on Elephantine Island.

Both buildings were closed for restoration in 2010. A month ago the annex was reopened, but the main building is still closed and will be reopened after the completion of its restoration. The restoration work is funded by the German Foreign Ministry and carried out in collaboration with restorers from the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo.

Museum director Mustafa Khalil told Al-Ahram Weekly that the restoration work included the installation of new lighting and state-of-the-art security systems connected to a closed-circuit TV that was self-operating. New showcases have been installed and the walls painted.
Decorative clay elements found in ancient Egyptian houses 
Khalil said that the annex put on display a selection of 1,788 artefacts considered to be the finest and most important discoveries by the German-Swiss archaeological mission in Elephantine from 1969 until the present day.

Among the objects on display are a collection of small baboon statues unearthed from the Satet Temple and children’s toys made of fired clay and faience including dolls and chess pieces. Offerings are also on show, as well as jewellery such as necklaces, rings, amulets and scarabs. Domestic pots, pans, spoons and knives and utensils are also exhibited, shedding light on the island’s inhabitants’ daily lives, as well as the economy and trade with neighbouring countries.

Hunting, fishing and farming tools as well as weapons are also exhibited, along with tools used in the construction of houses such as stone plumb lines, wooden mallets, sanding stones and tools for polishing hard stone, smoothing wall plaster and decorating temple walls. Copper axes from the Second Intermediate Period are exhibited along with moulds used to make oil lamps.

Middle Kingdom statuettes depicting dignitaries of status are exhibited, as well as a colossus of the Pharaoh Thutmose II and coins from the Ptolemaic period. “The marriage contract papyrus from the reign of Nectanebo II is the most distinguished object on display in the annex,” Khalil told the Weekly.

 statuettes showing love scenes 
He said that the contract dated to the eighth year of the king’s reign and the first month of the inundation season. It mentions the names of the married couple, the gifts the bride gave to the groom, and the furniture she came with to his house. The contract also mentions the marital rules they agreed upon during their daily lives and in case of divorce.

“Although it is a small annex museum, it shows the history of Elephantine Island, which is a unique archaeological park in Aswan,” Khalil said, explaining that the island’s southern end was dominated by the remains of an ancient town.

This settlement was inhabited from late prehistory to the Middle Ages, and the modern Nubian village to the north of the ancient site continues this tradition to the present day.

Ancient Elephantine was the capital of the region situated just below the first cataract of the Nile, and it was for long the southern border town of Egypt. “From here, expeditions for war and trade were sent far into Nubia and the adjacent deserts, today parts of the northern Sudan,” Khalil said.... READ MORE.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Re-Opening, Dakhla Oasis: Openings In The Oasis

Three mudbrick houses and the remains of a villa in the Dakhla Oasis have been opened to the public after restoration. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

In the northwest of the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert is the mediaeval village of Al-Qasr with its mudbrick buildings, alleys, mosques, Pharaonic temple and seed mill. Its serenity was disturbed earlier this week when Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany along with Al-Wadi Al-Gadid Governor Mohamed Suleiman Al-Zamalout and Netherlands Ambassador Laurens Westhoff and other officials opened three houses and a villa in Al-Qasr to visitors after the completion of conservation work.

El-Enany described the work as “wonderful” and “one of the ministry’s most important achievements”. He said that the Al-Qasr village was one of the most important Islamic settlements in Egypt, not only because of its distinguished architecture but also because it was the meeting point of several trade routes as well as being on a main route for pilgrimage.

The newly inaugurated buildings are in the Rabaa Al-Shihabiya area of the village and include the Beit Al-Qadi, the Beit Al-Qurashi and the Beit Othman. The remains of the fourth-century Villa of Serenus, once a council member in Amheida (ancient Trimithis), were also restored and reopened.

Ahmed Al-Nemr, a member of the Ministry of Antiquities’ Scientific Office for Islamic and Coptic Monuments, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the Serenus Villa had been uncovered in 1979. While surveying the late antique city of Amheida, a team from the Dakhla Oasis Project had discovered the upper part of the Villa’s lavishly decorated walls, he said.

 El-Enany during the opening of Al-Qasr’s restored houses 
The main building, including decorated rooms, was subsequently excavated in 2004 and 2007 by a team from Columbia University in New York directed by Roger S Bagnall. Well-preserved decoration was found in four rooms depicting geometrical patterns as well as figurative scenes. “At the time of their discovery, both the paintings in situ and the collected fragments posed considerable conservation problems,” said Fred Leemhuis of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

He explained that the layer of plaster was very thin and extremely fragile. The best way of conserving this precious building for future generations was by refilling it with sand after extensive documentation, Leemhuis commented. “Because this unique villa would be destroyed by being exposed to the public, a plan was made to build a full-size reconstruction of the main house,” Leemhuis said.

Al-Nemr said that in order to recreate the full splendour of the building a decision had been taken to reconstruct the painted decoration. The project has been financed by a grant from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo and administered by the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo. Soon after archaeologist Nicholas Warner had finished work on the building, a decoration team led by Dorothea Schulz moved in and started reconstructing and recreating the decoration.

In a report in the newsletter of the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, Schulz wrote that the decoration of the two smaller rooms consisted of an intricate geometrical pattern. The biggest room, the Domed Room, was completely decorated from the floor to the highest point in the dome. There are geometrical “wallpapers” all around the room, the report said, composed of many different patterns.

While the wallpapers are still in situ and could be copied without problems, the dome had collapsed in antiquity and had taken a lot of work to reconstruct from thousands of fragments, the report said. The Serenus Villa replica was inaugurated during the minister of antiquities’ visit as a visitor centre. El-Enany described the reconstruction work as “spectacular and well worth a visit”. “The replica villa is a complete example of how top officials or a family of high social status built and decorated their homes in antiquity,” he said. Photographs and banners showing the detailed work are also on display, as well as photographs of the villa’s original conditiond.... READ MORE.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Re-Opening, Luxor: Luxor's Stoppelaëre House Transformed Into Scientific Centre For Heritage

The 1940s Stoppelaëre House  opened Last Week on Luxor’s west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

After 12 months of restoration, Stoppelaëre House opened with a view to developing it into a cultural and scientific centre for heritage. 

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Swiss Ambassador Markus Leitner  opened the house Friday. The house is a fully restored masterpiece of 20th century architecture by Egypt's pioneer architect Hassan Fathy. 

The restoration was part of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Antiquities in collaboration with the University of Basel and the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, said that Stoppelaëre House is an example of Fathy's mature approach to mud brick architecture. It was built in 1950 for Alexander Stoppelaëre after the completion of the village of New Gourna, a visionary housing project of the late 1940s. 

The restoration was funded by Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation, Madrid, and the work was carried out by the Waly Centre for Architecture and Heritagein Cairo with a team of local craftsmen.

Tarek Waly, one of the leading heritage architects working in Egypt, worked with Fathy for many years and has a deep understanding of his aims and intentions. Great attention has been paid to preserving the building while also making it serve a new function as a state of the art 3D scanning, archiving and training centre.

Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation, explained that the new centre at Stoppelaëre House will bring 3D scanning technologies (including medium/long range survey scanning, close range high-resolution surface scanning, composite photography and high-resolution photogrammetry) to Luxor. High-resolution recording and documentation provides a cost effective solution for heritage documentation that will benefit the local community.

He pointed out that in 2016, Factum Foundation began training local operators under the supervision of Aliaa Ismail, a specialist in architecture and Egyptology, who will run the centre. “The first two local operators are already fully trained and as the centre becomes fully equipped, the number of people receiving training in data recording, processing and archiving will increase,” Lowe said.

He added that the restoration of Stoppelaëre House and the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative Training Centre are one of the central elements of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative (TNPI), a project initiated in 2008. The TNPI gained prominence in 2014 for installing an exact facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamun on the site near Howard Carter´s house.

Lowe continued that high-resolution recording and documentation are transforming the ways in which we protect, monitor, study and communicate the importance of vulnerable cultural heritage sites like the Valley of the Kings.

Now the initiative is focused on the tomb of King Seti I. Upon the discovery of the tomb 200 years ago by the explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni, a facsimile was made of the tomb’s wall to put them on show in London. Regretfully, Belzoni’s facsimile was made by casting the walls, which caused significant damage to the tomb. Belzoni and others also removed sections of the tomb that are now in international museums and collections around the world.

Stoppelaëre House become the symbol of a new approach, whereby such scattered fragments are analysed and reintegrated into a whole by way of new technologies. During 2017 there will be a significant transfer of skills and technology in order to facilitate the recording of sites in and around Luxor.

Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, describes the training programme as a fantastic idea. “It will provide Egyptians with the most up-to-date technologies that will allow them to preserve and document their cultural heritage accurately and completely. This shows how international cooperation can further the preservation of heritage, not just for Egypt, but for the world," she said.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

News, Cairo: UNESCO Director General Visits Cairo's Newly Restored Museum of Islamic Art

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Tuesday evening, to tour the newly restored and re-opened facility. Ahram Online.

Accompanied by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Bokova extended her 45-minute planned tour to 90 minutes to see the work which went into restoring the museum, which was badly damaged by a car bomb explosion in 2014 that targetted the adjacent Cairo Governorate Police Security Directorate.

El-Enany said that Bokova’s visit to Egypt and the MIA serves as a message to the world that it's time to visit Egypt, which he said has stood firm in the fight against terrorism. “The reopening of MIA embodies Egypt’s success in opposing terrorism and violence,” the minister said.

Bokova described the restoration work as “great” and said it "succeeded in returning the MIA to its original allure." “The work also shows dedicated international cooperation to rescue one of Egypt’s distinguished monuments,” Bokova added.

UNESCO, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Switzerland as well as other international museums, institutes and NGOs contributed to the museum's restoration.

“The MIA is an emblem of Islam and its contributions to history, culture, science, art and medicine,” Bokova said. Bokova gifted the MIA library with a series of seven books about the history of Islam and its historical contributions. 

The series, published in English, was compiled by UNESCO over the last 40 years. Bokova and El-Enany are set to open Wednesday evening the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Re-Opening, Cairo: Cairo's Museum of Islamic Art to Open Friday After Two-Year Closure

The museum, badly damaged in a car bomb explosion in 2014, was inaugurated Wednesday by President Sisi and other top officials. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Qur'an - ink on parchment, Abbasid 9th century
Egypt's Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in downtown Cairo's Bab El-Khalq area is set to open its doors to visitors Friday after two years of closure for restoration and repair.

On Wednesday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany inaugurated the museum, in a ceremony attended by other top officials. The museum will offer admission to visitors free of charge beginning Friday 20 January, and continuing through Saturday the 28th.

The MIA sustained severe damage in January 2014 when a car bomb exploded outside the adjacent Cairo Security Directorate building. The blast destroyed the façade of the building, several columns, display cases and artifacts, as well as the nearby Egyptian National Library and Archives building.

In 2015, nearly a year after the blast, Cairo received a grant of EGP 50 million from the United Arab Emirates to restore the museum, in collaboration with Egyptian and foreign experts from Italy, Germany and the United States.

wooden Islamic boxes and tables
The UNESCO donated $100,000 for the restoration of the museum’s laboratories, while the Italian government contributed €800,000 to purchase new display cases and provide training courses to the museum’s curators.

The American Research Centre in Cairo, in collaboration with the Swiss government, contributed EGP 1 million to restore the museum’s façade. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, as well as the Metropolitan Museums in New York, Germany and Austria assisted with trainings for the MIA's curators and restorers.

“The inauguration of the MIA embodies Egypt’s victory against terrorism, its capability and willingness to repair what terrorism has damaged, and to stand against terrorist attempts to destroy its heritage,” El-Enany said at the opening ceremony.

On Thursday, the museum will host a musical ceremony to celebrate the opening, and allow media in to photograph the new and restored exhibits. Elham Salah, head of the Museums Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the façade, building and halls of the MIA have been restored with state-of-the-art security and lighting systems installed. Some aspects of the layout have changed, he added.

metal pots and pans
The souvenir hall, previously located in the centre of the museum has been moved to the end of the visitors’ path in the museum garden. A hall displaying Islamic coins and weapons has been added, along with a hall for Islamic manuscripts. One hall showcases the daily life of Egyptians throughout the Islamic age, including instruments and children’s toys.

MIA Director Ahmed El-Shoki said the artifacts which were "damaged in the explosion, and which have been restored, are integrated into the new displays, but distinguished by a golden label placed beside them.”

The blast damaged 179 pieces, 169 of which were completely restored while 10 pieces, all carved in glass, were found to be beyond repair. Among the most important artifacts lost were a rare decorated Ayyubid jar and an Omayyad plate carved in porcelain.


The MIA is home to an exceptional collection of rare woodwork and plaster artifacts, as well as Islamic era metal, ceramic, glass, textile and crystal pieces from all over the world. The museum is housed in a two-story building, with the first floor open to visitors displaying 4,400 artifacts in 25 galleries.

New discovery, Sakkara: Hawass Announces New Archaeological Discovery in Saqarra

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 ...