CAIRO – 25 January 2021: Under the title “Towards New Horizons of assessing, restoring and re-displaying the museum's artifacts,” the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir launched a project to restore the wooden panels of the terrace of Hesy-Ra, displayed in Hallway No. 47.
The project is being implemented in cooperation with the French Scientific Institute of Oriental Archeology (IFAO).
Director General of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Sabah Abdel Razek said that the joint research team prepared a comprehensive study on the paintings, those that had not been previously restored and the one that was restored in the 1940s, before transferring them to the museum's restoration laboratory.
Anita Kelis, head of the archeological studies department at the French Scientific Institute of Oriental Archeology, said that this project is divided into two phases. The first phase begins in January 2021 and ends in December 2021 and includes the following: The archaeological study of wood panels, identifying the type of wood used in their manufacture, and microscopic examinations and physio-mechanical studies to assess their condition. The first stage ends with the implementation of the maintenance and restoration plan suitable for the wooden pieces.
As for the second phase, Islam Ezzat, who is in charge of the project, said that it will include re-displaying these paintings according to the original context within the terrace of Hesy-Ra in Saqqara, based on the plans drawn up by Jacob de Morgan in 1860 and Edouard Koebel in 1911-1912, as the western corridor of the terrace included niches that contained wooden panels opposite to the frescoes.
Specialists in the art of the Old Kingdom will study these elements within the scope of the project.
Also, Abdel Razek confirmed that a distinguished group of specialists in the history of art, restoration and material sciences from the French Scientific Institute of Oriental Archeology, Paris IV Sorbonne University, Ain Shams University and Cairo University, and the National Institute of Measurement and Calibration participate in this project under the supervision of a team of trustees and specialized restorers in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.