Thursday, June 30, 2016

News: Childbirth Stelae Picked as Egyptian Museum's July piece of The Month in Online Vote

The artifact was chosen by the public in a Facebook poll by the antiquities ministry. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The childbirth stelae
Tomorrow the foyer of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir will be graced with the newly-picked July piece of the month; a Ptolemaic childbirth stelae that won a Facebook poll put up by the antiquities ministry.

The stelae is carved in limestone and depicts the childbirth process, showing a Ptolemaic woman giving birth with the help of two ancient Egyptian deities sitting beside her.

The poll was set up by the ministry two weeks ago to enable the community to choose among 10 items, with the object to receive the most comments to be picked as the July piece of the month.

The second piece that won the voting is the ancient Egyptian wig, while the third is the faience of the ancient Egyptian hippopotamus.
The hippopotamus that won the second place 
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Ahram Online that he is happy with the voting because it shows the effective coming together of antiquities lovers and the Egyptian community in choosing the artifact they hope to see on display as the July piece of the month.

Elham Salah, the head of the ministry’s Museums Department, views the childbirth stelae as a perfect choice because it is a distinguished object on both the archaeological and artistic levels.

Salah asserts that the ministry’s use of social media, as was done with the Facebook poll, is an effective channel of communication between the ministry and the community in Egypt and antiquity lovers worldwide, and can help in raising cultural and archaeological awareness among the public.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Short Story: Sarcophagi Lids Returned

After four years on show at an antiquities auction hall in Jerusalem, two stolen and illegally smuggled sarcophagi lids are now back home in Egypt, writes Nevine El-Aref.

This is the second time that Egypt has successfully recovered ancient Egyptian artefacts from Israel since the peace treaty was signed between the two countries in 1979. The first was in the 1990s, when Egypt received a large collection of objects that had been excavated in Sinai by an Israeli archaeological mission during the country’s occupation of the Peninsula.

This time the situation is different, as Egypt has recovered two ancient Egyptian sarcophagi lids that were stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country. Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, supervisor of the Antiquities Recovery Department at the Ministry of Culture, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the lids were stolen during illegal excavations, probably due to the lack of security in the aftermath of the 25 January Revolution, and were seen on show at an auction hall in Jerusalem in 2012.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority and the Jerusalem branch of Interpol noticed the lids and the incident was reported to the Egyptian police, who passed the information on to the Antiquities Ministry. Investigations revealed that the lids were smuggled out of the country to Jerusalem via Dubai by an Israeli antiquities trader, Abdel-Gawad said.

After the necessary diplomatic procedures were completed, the lids arrived safely back in Egypt and are now on display in the foyer of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square for restoration and permanent display. The lids, which date back to the ancient Egyptian era, are made of carved wood, painted with coloured cartonnage and decorated with hieroglyphic symbols.
Source: Al Ahram Weekly


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

iCruise Egypt - Vol. 28: Swiss Inn Nile Cruiser Radamis II - 5* Superior River Cruiser


Follow in the footsteps of the pharaohs as you cruise the iconic river Nile from Aswan to Luxor in style on Swiss Inn Radamis II. 

Swiss Inn Nile Cruiser Radamis II sails between Luxor and Aswan or vice versa, a distance of 220 kilometers. With an overnight stay in Esna/Edfu and either Luxor or Aswan. 

Steep yourself in 7000 years of history while enjoying 21st century comfort and timeless Swiss hospitality cruising on the world's longest river, the Nile flows through a wealth of heritage in Upper Egypt.

For More Images Visit Our Website

Monday, June 27, 2016

Short Story: Boat Timbers Discovered

Timbers from the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu’s second solar boat have been discovered on the Giza Plateau, writes Nevine El-Aref.
During restoration work carried out in the pit of the Pharaoh Khufu’s second solar boat on the Giza Plateau, restorers have stumbled upon what are believed to be the floors of the shrine of the captain’s boat, supervisors said this week.

“This is a great step forward in the conservation of Khufu’s second boat,” said Eissa Zidan, supervisor of the restoration work, adding that 700 timbers had been removed from the boat pit located beside the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. Beams from the captain’s shrine are the latest items to be removed and others are still inside the pit.

The beams were in poor condition and the team had carried out preliminary restoration work in situ before transporting them to the Grand Egyptian Museum where they would be comprehensively restored before being exhibited, Zidan said. Khufu’s boats had two shrines, he said, one for the pharaoh located at the end of the boats and the other for the captain at the front. The team had confirmed that the timbers belonged to the boat captain’s shrine after comparing them with those from the first solar boat, now on display at Khufu’s Solar Boat Museum on the Giza Plateau, he said.

It had solicited the help of experts in boat construction in order to determine the purpose of every piece of the boat. The shrine was also documented and photographed with a 3D laser scanner, Zidan said. Restorers had removed the beams from the pit piece by piece and covered them in situ with a special chemical solution in order to protect them from the atmosphere outside the pit. In the laboratory, they had first reduced the humidity of the beams until it had reached 55 per cent and then subjected them to treatment and consolidation.

3D documentation of every piece of the boat was also carried out in order to document all the pieces, eventually helping in the reconstruction of the boat. Work is continuing in order to remove all the beams from the pit, restore the boat and reconstruct it to be put on display beside its sister. The boat was discovered along with the first one inside two pits neighbouring each other in 1954 when Egyptian archaeologists Kamal Al-Mallakh and Zaki Nour were carrying out routine cleaning on the southern side of the Great Pyramid.

The first pit was found under a roof of 41 limestone slabs, each weighing almost 20 tons, with the three westernmost slabs being much smaller than the others and leading them to be interpreted as keystones. On removing one of the slabs, Al-Mallakh and Nour saw a cedar boat, completely dismantled but arranged in the semblance of its finished form, inside the pit. Also inside were layers of mats, ropes, instruments made of flint, and some small pieces of white plaster, along with 12 oars, 58 poles, three cylindrical columns and five doors..... Read More

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Short Story: Celebrating Ramadan

Celebrations have been taking place on Al-Muizz li-Din Allah Street in Islamic Cairo following the sighting of the Ramadan new moon, reports Nevine El-Aref  .

Fatimid period rituals celebrating the spotting of the new moon of Ramadan were revived yesterday night in Al-Muizz Li-Din Allah Street in Islamic Cairo, but with a small twist. To the rhythm of traditional flutes and drums, revelers gathered on the steps of the Bab Al-Fotouh Gate at the northern end of Al-Muizz Street to celebrate the sighting of the new moon.

Guided by Minister of Culture Helmi Al-Namnam and head of the ministry’s Cultural Development Fund Neveen Al-Kelani, they walked along the Street from Bab Al-Fotouh towards the Textile Museum accompanied by traditional tanoura dancers dressed in their colourful skirts.

A stage had been set up in front of the Textile Museum where poems praising the Prophet Mohamed such as Kamaron Sedna Al-Nabi Kamaron (Mohamed is like the Moon) were performed along with spiritual recitations and folkloric songs for Ramadan, such as Ramadan Gana (Ramadan Arrived), Halo ya Halo and Madih an Monagah (Praying to the Lord) associated with the famous Sheikh Sayed Al-Naqshabendi.

“The celebrations are similar to those that were held during the mediaeval Fatimid era,” Al-Kelani told Al-Ahram Weekly, adding that at that time Al-Muizz Street glittered with lamps and colourful decorations during Ramadan. Shop-owners ornamented their shops to welcome Ramadan, and the caliph himself progressed through the district on the night the new moon of Ramadan was spotted.

Wearing a glittering costume ornamented with gold and silver thread, the caliph would walk from the Bayn Al-Qasrein area of Al-Muizz Street to Bab Al-Fotouh along with officials wearing official coloured garb and riding horses with golden saddles.

The caliph would have distributed money and food as he walked, especially rice with milk to the poor. Returning to his palace, he would have been welcomed by recitations from the Quran. He would then have entered his private quarters, changed his clothes, and sent a silver plate of desserts to every emir in the empire. Clothes, money and incense would have been distributed to officials and the poor.

During the later Mameluke era, Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, head of Islamic Cairo at the ministry, said, the country’s top judge was the protagonist of the Ramadan celebrations. When the new moon was seen, he would walk from Bayn Al-Qasrein towards his official residence to announce the beginning of Ramadan and all the streets he passed would have been lit by candles and fawanees, or Ramadan lanterns.

In the Ottoman era, the country’s four top judges met at the Al-Mansouriya School at Bayn Al-Qasrein to observe the new moon. If they saw it, they would start to walk along the street holding candles and fawanees. Sufi groups and handicraft makers were among the walking group.

During the French expedition to Egypt at the end of the 18th century, the same celebrations were held. But in 1798 the French general Napoleon Bonaparte set a canon on top of the Kom Al-Nadoura hill in Alexandria that was fired each day at sunset to mark the end of the fast. 

In modern times, at the beginning of the 20th century the Khedive Abbas Helmi II transferred the responsibility for observing the Ramadan new moon to the legislative court in Bab Al-Khalq in downtown Cairo where the parade announcing the sighting began. Large coaches decorated with flowers were at the front of the procession with Sufi groups and a military band. Fireworks were lit, the streets were lit with fawanees, and the minarets and domes of mosques were decorated with coloured lamps.

The parade passed the Al-Bakri Palace in the Al-Khornonfish area of Cairo where the city’s nobles once lived. Another parade was traditionally launched from the Salaheddin Citadel led by the Al-Mohtaseb (the inspector of weights and measures). Senior merchants and fawanees makers would have been members of the parade, along with Quranic reciters and members of Sufi orders.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

News: Egypt Museum's July Piece of the Month to Be Selected by Facebook Vote

The Egyptian community and antiquities lovers worldwide now have the opportunity to take part in the selection of the Egyptian Museum's Piece of the Month. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
One of The Pieces Selected
The Ministry of Antiquities is set to begin a new tradition in an attempt to raise Egyptians' archaeological awareness as well as provide  them an opportunity to participate in the ministry's decision making process.

Elham Salah, head of the ministry's Museums Sector, told Ahram Online that the selection of the Egyptian Museum's Piece of the month would not be chosen by the museum's board but instead by the community and antiquities lovers throughout the world through voting on a dozen of artifacts posted on the Ministry's official Facebook page.

The first collection featured in the voting process was posted Wednesday on the ministry's Facebook page. Voting on what will eventually be selected as the July Piece of the Month will be conducted through comments on the post.

Salah asserted that in the future the museum's Piece of the Month, which is displayed for the entirety of the month in the museum's foyer, will be selected by a popular vote.

The monthly selection seeks to distinguish an object that is of profound historical or artistic value that may otherwise go unnoticed in the museum's vast gallery.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Missions working in Egypt, South Asasif Conservation Project: The South Asasif Conservation Project in May 2016

We were happy to return to the site in May and reunite with our Egyptian team members for the 2016 season. We are very grateful to the Ministry of Antiquities and our sponsors and supporters for making this season possible.

Most of the conservation work this season will be concentrated in the Second Pillared Hall of the tomb of Karakhamun (TT 223). Our great conservation team started the season with reinforcing the south-west pillar and preparing it for the reconstruction.

Abdelrazk Mohamed Ali, Ali Hassan Ibrahim, El Tayib Hassan Ibrahim, Mohamed El Azeb Hakim, Hassan El Dimerdash, Sayid Ali Hassan , El Tayib Sayid, Mohamed Badawy around the pillar.

The stone cutters and builders are continuing the reconstruction of the northern architrave. The western section of the architrave and cavetto cornice were assembled on the floor.

The stone cutters prepared a block of new limestone that will rest on the western pillar and pilaster. The block arrived in the Second Pillared Hall via our wooden railroad, which starts in the open court.

It was lifted with the help of two winches and a team of “stone people” as they are called at the site: Ahmed Badawy, Ahmed Mustafa, Mahmoud Gamal, Mohamed Hassan , Hassan Mustafa, Moamen Ahmed, El Tayib Hassan.

This team of “stone people” has been working with the Project for many years and this year they have become a dynasty. One of the most skillful builders on the team has brought his young son to work with us. Here are the first portraits for the growing family tree of Ahmed Mustafa and Mustafa Ahmed.

Our international team members were happy to resume their activities as well. Marion Brew is joined by Lesley O’Connor in the continuing work in the tomb of Karabasken. Clearing of the open court of the tomb was completed in May and the field team moved to the pillared hall. They are enjoying their new office in the court.

John Billman is performing the magic of registration in his sanctuary. Katherine Blakeney is in search of the most dynamic angles to record the activities of the conservators.  Today was a very special day at the site. We wished our Egyptian team members Happy Ramadan and handed out Ramadan presents.

Monday, June 20, 2016

News: Egypt to Sign Archaeological Cooperation Agreement with Saudi Arabia

A memorandum of cooperation between the Ministry of Antiquities and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage is to be signed Sunday in Saudi Arabia. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

El-Enany and Prince Sultan After Signing The Agreement
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany flew to Saudi Arabia to sign a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with Prince Sultan Ben Salman Abdel Aziz Al-Saud, chairman of the Saudi Commission of Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH).

The MOC aims to strengthen measures of joint cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the fields of archaeology, museums and architectural heritage.

El-Enany said the MOC "confirms the eagerness of the Ministry of Antiquities to cooperate with all countries involved in the field of archaeological work."

Yasmine El-Shazly, supervisor of the department of international organisations at the ministry and responsible for the international cooperation portfolio, said the MOC will significantly upgrade professional and scientific standards for employees in both the ministry and the SCTNH. "This will come through exchanging Egypt-Saudi experiences in the fields of scientific research, surveys, archaeological excavation and the development of the cultural and educational role of museums," she added.

Lectures, seminars and workshops on antiquities, museums and architectural heritage are to be organised in both countries. El-Shazly pointed out that regulations to combat illicit trade in antiquities are included in the MOC to ensure protection of cultural properties.

Prince Sultan Bin Salman Abdul Aziz Al-Saud expressed his pleasure to cooperate with Egypt in the field of archaeology, underlining that this cooperation agreement is one of a number between the two countries.

News, Giza: Tutankhamun Collection to Be Moved to Grand Egyptian Museum by End of 2016

A documentary on the transportation processes of this distinguished collection will be screened at the GEM during its official inauguration. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Tutankhamun's treasured collection at his tomb the day of its discovery in 1922
After almost 84 years, the treasured collection of the golden king Tutankhamun will be moved from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to its new permanent exhibition hall at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said that by the end of this year, Tutankhamun’s collection will be transported in a gala festival similar to that of the transportation of King Ramses II’s statue from Ramses Square in downtown Cairo to the GEM.

A documentary on the transportation processes of this distinguished collection will be screened at the GEM during its official inauguration. The first transportation of the collection was from Luxor’s west bank to Tahrir Museum in 1923. 

Tarek Tawfik, supervisor-general of the GEM, told Ahram Online that Tutankhamun’s collection will be transported after the carrying out of preliminary restoration of some artefacts in the collection at the Tahrir Museum. Another phase of restoration work will take place at the state-of-the-art GEM laboratories.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

News: Egypt’s Daily Social Digest June 15 - 2 Giza Tombs to Be Open to Public

2 tombs to be open for visitors in 15 days at Giza East Field
Two ancient Egyptian tombs of Sheshem-Nefer, the guardian of the king’s secrets during Dynasty 6 of the Old Kingdom, and Senefru-Kha-ef, the treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt during the end of Dynasty 4 and the beginning of Dynasty 5, will be open to visitors in 15 days after renovation at the Giza East Field.

Project to study gold leaves believed to belong to tomb KV55 resumes
The project is funded by the American Research Center in Egypt (ACRE) with $28,500, according to Youm7.

Antiquities Ministry has resumed a project to study about 500 gold leaves found in a wooden box in the Egyptian Museum, believed to belong the mysterious KV55 tomb in Luxor, in hopes to confirm the identity of the body found in the tomb. It has long been speculated it belongs to Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Opening Egyptian Museum 2 evenings a week “increases visitor turnout”
Opening The Egyptian Museum two evenings a week and the Textiles Museum every night during Ramadan has increased the visitor turnout, and applying the same idea on other museums would need top notch security, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Amin told Youm7.

Egypt, Saudi to sign memo on antiquities
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany will leave for Saudi Arabia Wednesday to sign a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia on antiquities, museum, architectural heritage and antiquities trafficking, Youm7 reported.

Ibrahim Pasha Statute renovated
The 4-month renovation of Ibrahim Pasha Statute at the Opera Square has been finalized by the Antiquities Ministry and Cairo Governorate, Youm7 reported. The statue was finished by French sculptor Charles Cordier  place in 1872 under the reign of Khedive Ismail.
Source: The Cairo Post - By/ The Cairo Post

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Back Home: Two Sarcophagi's Lids Recovered by Egypt From Israel

Two stolen and illegally smuggled sarcophagi lids returned Thursday afternoon to Egypt from Israel. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Upper & The Lower Parts of The Sarcophagus' Lid
Following diplomatic and archaeological procedures, Egypt succeeded in returning the lids of two sarcophagi that had been stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, the general supervisor of the Antiquities Recuperation Department, told Ahram Online that both lids were stolen through illegal excavations and then smuggled out of the country to Jerusalem via Dubai through an Israeli antiquities trader.

Abdel Gawad explained that the Israeli Antiquities Authority and the Jerusalem Interpol noticed both lids in the showroom of an auction Hall in Jerusalem in 2012 and the Jerusalem Interpol reported the incident to the Egyptian Interpol who in turn passed the information on to the antiquities ministry.

After diplomatic procedures, both lids arrived safely to Cairo airport on Thursday afternoon and are to be transported to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir for restoration and permanent display.

Both lids date back to the ancient Egyptian era and are carved in wood and painted with coloured cartonage and decorated with hieroglyphic symbols.

"This is the second time that Egypt has recovered artefacts from Israel," Abdel Gawad asserted, adding that the first time was during the 1990s, when Egypt received a large collection of objects that had been excavated in Sinai by an Israel archaeological mission during the country’s occupation of the peninsula.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

News, Luxor: Study Aims to Uncover Mystery of Luxor's Tomb KV55

The Box With The Golden Sheets
The Ministry of Antiquities is trying to solve the mystery behind the enigmatic sarcophagus found in tomb KV55 in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor's west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

This week, the Ministry of Antiquities will start the second phase of a study aimed at uncovering the mystery behind an unidentified sarcophagus found in 1906 inside tomb KV55 at the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank.

The study is being operated with a grant of $28,500 from the American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) Endowment Fund.

This tomb was thought to hold the body of the monotheistic king Akhenaten, though no definitive evidence has been presented to back up this speculation.

Pieces of The Skull Found Inside The Box
Elham Salah, head of the ministry’s Museums Department, told Ahram Online that the study is being carried out on a collection of 500 gold sheets found in a box in storage at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir along with the remains of a skull and a handwritten note in French.

The note, she says, is dated to when KV55 was first found and states that the 500 accompanying sheets were discovered with a sarcophagus, though it does not mention which sarcophagus.

According to Elham, the first phase of the study, which started last year, indicated that the gold sheets may belong to the sarcophagus found in KV55.

Islam Ezat, from the scientific office of the ministry, said that the study is being carried out by skilled Egyptian archaeologists and restorers from Egyptian Museums and it may lead to uncovering the identity of the owner of the sarcophagus and the tomb.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

News: Egypt’s Daily Social Digest June 13 - Study Reveals Open Buffet Service is Pharaonic Habit, 2 Brothers Charged With ‘Smuggling’ Artifacts Dating Back to Roman-Greek Era

Open Buffet Service is Pharaonic Habit: Study
Open buffet service is a Pharaonic habit depicted on the walls of ancient Egyptian temples, according to a study conducted by Egyptian Egyptologist Mohamed Yehia Ewida. He said that ancient houses had a big table as a buffet and millstone for the Pharaohs they contain a buffet, and a millstone for grinding grain of wheat, barley, and an oven to bake bread in all its forms, DPA reported.

GACP Organizes Set of Cultural Events in Muizz Street During Ramadan
General Authority for Cultural Palaces (GACP) have organized a number of art and cultural events in Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo during the holy Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar when the Muslims worldwide fast, according to a statement from the GACP.

Russian Flights to Resume Soon: Ambassador
Russian ambassador to Cairo Sergei Bachenko stated that the suspended Russian flights to Egypt would resume soon. He noted in a celebration of Russian Day at Cairo-based embassy headquarters that his country is keen to enhance the bilateral relations in all fields.

2 Brothers Charged With ‘Smuggling’ Artifacts Dating Back to Roman-Greek Era
Two Egyptian brothers have been charged of “smuggling artifacts outside the country” after the security forces had confiscated a depot in their house contains dozens of archeological artifacts dating back to Roman Greek era, state-owned newspaper al-Ahram reported Sunday.

Anger on Social Media at Destruction of ‘Peace Theater’ in Alexandria
Social media users of Facebook and Twitter have re-shared photos showing destruction of El-Salam theatre in Alexandria; they voiced their anger against the destruction, saying “it is a sign for deterioration of culture.”
Source: The Cairo Post - By/ The Cairo Post

Monday, June 13, 2016

News: Egypt's Antiquities Minister Gives Go-Ahead For Mohamed Ali Palace Restoration

After being restored in 2000, the palace fell again into disrepair and has been off limits for tourists since 2012, with a car bomb last year damaging it even further. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Open Terrace of The Palace
Egypt's Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany gave the go ahead for the restoration of the Mohamed Ali palace in Shubra El-Kheima that has been off limits to tourists since 2012 due to its poor preservation. 

El-Enany, who was touring the site north of Cairo in Qalioubiya Governorate, said that restorers, archaeologists and engineers are currently carrying out comprehensive studies on the architectural condition of the palace.

The palace's distinguished garden will also be rehabilitated in order for it to be used for archaeological conferences and cultural events.

Regretfully, several parts of the palace were severely damaged after a car bomb hit a neighbouring security building in August 2015.

The Fountain (Faskiya) and Gabalaya buildings of the palace were badly affected by the explosion. Moreover, a modern lamp in the main hall of the fountain building fell down and broke completely.

Fine Restoration at The Palace
Decorations on the doors were damaged and dislodged. All 12 stained glass windows in the building's dining room were broken.

Significant cracks have spread all over the building's walls and floors, the most critical of which are those found at the northwest corner of the building and northern section. The Waterwheel (Al-Sakiya) Tower is safe and has been well conserved.

The Mohamed Ali Palace, once known as the Egyptian Versailles, was comprehensively restored in 2000 in order to save its exquisite early 19th-century buildings, which feature a blend of rococo and baroque styles.

The palace site has groves of shrubs, a labyrinth, a hippodrome and a great expanse of water surrounded by galleries flanked by four pavilions. There is also a mosque and wide tree-lined avenues.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Re-Opening, Luxor: Tombs of Nefertari and Seti I in Egypt's Luxor to Reopen to Visitors

The tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and the tomb of King Seti I in the Valley of the Kings have been closed for restoration. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egyptian antiquities officials have decided to re-open the tombs of Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and King Seti I in the Valley of the Kings, both of which have been closed for several years.

The tombs in Luxor will re-open in a month's time, and tickets will cost EGP 1,000 (approx. $113).The number of visitors is to be limited to around 100 to 150 people a day.

“This decision was taken in an attempt to attract more tourists to the valleys and Luxor after the decline of tourism that hit Egypt following the January [2011] revolution,” Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Ahram Online.

Both tombs had been closed for restoration, required by the increase in humidity caused by visitors.

El-Enany also said that, at a Wednesday meeting of the Supreme Council of Antiquities which he chairs, it was decided that the ministry would be provided with more funds, as it is suffering financially due to the lack of tourism.

It was also decided that the rents of cafeterias and bookshops at museums and archaeological sites would be reduced.

“This decision would enable all shops and cafeterias owners to reopen them after five years of closing,” El-Enany said, adding that in the aftermath of the revolution the owners of these shops were not able to pay the rent and they had to close their enterprises.

The chairman board also approved a 75 percent reduction on all books published by the ministry, in order to increase archaeological awareness among Egyptians.

During the month of Ramadan, the Textile Museum in Al-Muizz Street in medieval Cairo is to be open at night.

News, Giza: Grand Egyptian Museum Receives New Set of Artifacts

CAIRO: A set of 117 artifacts from the collection of the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities were transported to the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in preparation for restoration and future display, Tarik Tawfik, GEM General Supervisor said in a statement Saturday.

Dating back to the New Kingdom Period (1580B.C.-1080B.C.), the artifacts include a colossal statue of the last 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Hormoheb (1319B.C- 1292B.C.) in addition to block statues and a painted limestone wall relief depicting ancient Egyptian goddesses Isisi and Nephtys seated receiving offerings, said the museum’s Director of Restoration Department Issa Zeidan.

“A specialized committee has been formed to examine and pack the objects as well as preparing a comprehensive report about the current status of each object,” he added.

During the past few years, the GEM received thousands of artifacts from several museums and archaeological sites ahead of its inauguration scheduled for 2018.

Built over 120 acres of land, GEM is located 2 km southwest of the Giza Pyramids and was scheduled to be inaugurated in August 2015, but due to funding issues it has been delayed until August 2018.

The construction of the three-phase project, which includes the construction of the museum’s main building and implementation of the master plan, landscape parks and surrounding site infrastructure, began in March 2012. Two phases have currently been completed.
Source: The Cairo Post - By/ The Cairo Post

Thursday, June 9, 2016

News: Khufu boat, MIA, Wadi Hittan Museum win ICOM Best Practice Award

Two restoration projects and a museum won the 2016 Best Practice Award from the Egyptian National Committee of the ICOM. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Khufu Solar Boat Restorers Team
Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy and National Archive Head Sherif Shahin along with archeologists, curators and the media gathered to celebrate the winners of the Egyptian National Committee of the International Council of Museums' (ICOM Egypt) 2016 Best Practice Award at the National Archives' conference hall in Cairo.

Eissa Zidan, Restoration Department Head at the Egyptian Museum and Khufu boat restoration supervisor told Ahram Online that this year the Museum of Islamic Art, Department of Restoration and Khufu restoration team won the conservation award, while the Fossils and Climate Change Museum (Wadi Al-Hitan Museum) and the Zoological Museum won the Exhibition award.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Alexandria, the Blind School at the Egyptian Museum and the Rashid National Museum won the community outreach award.

Yushimura and Zidan With The Award
The second Khufu boat was discovered along with the first one inside two pits neighbouring each other in 1954, when Egyptian archaeologists Kamal Al-Mallakh and Zaki Nour were carrying out routine cleaning on the southern side of the Great Pyramid.

Zidan explains that the first boat was removed piece by piece under the supervision of restoration expert Ahmed Youssef, who spent more than 20 years restoring and reassembling the boat, which is now on display at Khufu’s Solar Boat Museum on the Giza Plateau.

The second boat remained sealed in the neighbouring pit until 1987 when it was examined by the American National Geographic Society in association with the Egyptian Office for Historical Monuments

In 2009, a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University headed by Sakuji Yoshimura offered to remove the boat from the pit, restore and reassemble it and put it on show to the public. The team cleaned the pit of insects and inserted a camera through a hole in the chamber’s limestone ceiling in order to examine the boat’s condition and determine appropriate methods of restoration. Restoration experts are removing the boat piece by piece and restoring it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Discovery, Giza: Captain's Shrine of King Khufu's Second Solar Boat Discovered

The cedar timbers of the captain’s shrine of King Khufu’s second solar boat was unearthed from its pit neighbouring the great pyramid. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

El-Enani inspect the work at the captain shrine
Restorers working on the second solar boat of King Khufu (26th century BC) stumbled upon the timbers of the boat captain’s shrine during restoration works. Although the cedar beams were in poor condition, the team was able to successfully remove them from the pit where preliminary restoration work was being carried out.

The Khufu boats were discovered inside two pits in 1954 when Egyptian archaeologists Kamal El-Mallakh and Zaki Nour were carrying out routine cleaning on the southern side of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Eissa Zidan, director-general of the GEM’s restoration department, told Ahram Online that Khufu’s boats had two shrines; one for the king located at the end of the boat and the other for the captain at the front.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enani told Ahram Online that the beams were cleaned and consolidated in an attempt to reduce the level of humidity. The beams, he continued, will be transported to the labs of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) for complete restoration.

Zidan said the team confirmed that the timbers belong to the boat captain’s shrine after comparing them with the one on the king’s first solar boat, now on display at Khufu’s Solar Boat Museum on the Giza Plateau. The team solicited the help of experts specialised in boat construction in order to determine the purpose of every piece of the boat.

El-Enani inspect the work at the captain shrine
The shrine was documented and photographed with a 3D laser scanner. Both boats will be put on display at the GEM. Zidan explains after its initial discovery, the first boat was removed piece by piece under the supervision of restoration expert Ahmed Youssef, who spent more than 20 years restoring and reassembling the boat.

The second boat remained sealed in the neighbouring pit until 1987 when it was examined by the American National Geographic Society in association with the Egyptian Office for Historical Monuments.

In 2009, a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University headed by Sakuji Yoshimura offered to remove the boat from the pit, restore and reassemble it and put it on show to the public.

The team cleaned the pit of insects and inserted a camera through a hole in the chamber’s limestone ceiling in order to examine the boat’s condition and determine appropriate methods of restoration.