Egyptian Museum in Tahrir is able to thrive as new museums emerge: Egypt’s tourism minister

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Tue, 06 Apr 2021 - 02:27 GMT

FILE - Egyptian Museum in Tahrir

FILE - Egyptian Museum in Tahrir

CAIRO – 6 April 2021: The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir has dazzled the world since 1902. Work is now underway to develop it in cooperation with the European Union.

 

 

“The museum won’t die”. Those words were said by Egypt’s Minister of Tourism & Antiquities Khaled El-Enany during the celebrations of the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade held on April 3.

 

 

The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, located in the heart of Cairo, houses the largest collection of antiquities of ancient Egypt. It contains more than 136,000 Pharaonic antiquities, in addition to hundreds of thousands of antiquities in its stores.

 

 

The story of the museum’s founding began with the great international interest in Egyptian antiquities after the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone at the hands of the French scientist Champollion.

 

 

The museum’s first location was a small house at the ancient Azbakeya Lake. Mohammad Ali Pasha ordered the recording of the fixed Egyptian antiquities and the transfer of the valuable antiquities to the Azbakeya Museum in 1835.

 

 

After the death of Mohammad Ali, antiquities were stolen again, and his successors followed the path of donations and gifting causing the museum's holdings to dwindle.

 

 

In the year 1858 , Auguste Mariette was appointed as the first officer to protect the antiquities, which currently corresponds to the head of the Antiquities Authority. He believed that there must be an administration and a museum of antiquities.

 

 

Therefore, he chose the Bulaq area to establish a museum of Egyptian antiquities to keep the antiquities found during his excavations.

 

 

In 1863, Khedive Ismail approved the project to establish a museum of Egyptian antiquities, but the project was not implemented.

 

 

But in 1878, there was a severe Nile flood, which caused the flooding of the Bulaq Museum and the loss of some of its contents. The museum reopened in 1881.

 

 

In the same year, Auguste Mariette passed away and was succeeded by Gaston-Camille-Charles Maspero as director of antiquities and the museum.

 

 

In the year 1890, when the collections of the Bulaq Museum increased, they were transferred to Saray El-Giza.

 

 

When the scientist De Morgan came as head of the department and the museum, he re-coordinated these groups in the new museum, which was known as the Giza Museum.

 

 

From 1897 - 1899 AD, Lori came as successor to De Morgan, but Maspero returned again to run the department and the museum from 1899-1914.

 

 

In 1902, he transferred the antiquities to the current building of the museum in Tahrir. One of his most active assistants during his second work period was the Egyptian scientist Ahmed Pasha Kamal, who was the first to specialize in ancient Egyptian antiquities and worked for many years in the museum.

 

 

The museum’s first Egyptian director was Mahmoud Hamza, who was appointed in 1950. The museum had a brief guide written by Maspero that dates back to 1883, but he made a large guide for the new museum that has been printed since 1915 until now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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