UNESCO presents project for National Museum of Egyptian Civilization at exhibition of Egyptian antiquities in ParisUNESCO will showcase the project for a National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in a stand at the exhibition of Egyptian antiquities from underwater excavations, Trésors engloutis d’Egypte, that opens at the Grand Palais in Paris on 9 December.
Due to open in Old Cairo in 2009, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization will cover all of Egyptian civilization from prehistoric times to the present through a multidisciplinary approach that will highlight both tangible and intangible heritage.
Situated in a park featuring archaeological remains and an open air auditorium, the museum, designed by a team led by Egyptian architect El Ghazzali Kosseiba, overlooks the Ain Al Seera Lake.
The museum collections will be displayed in a core exhibition of the principle achievements of Egyptian civilization; six thematic galleries (Dawn of Civilization, The Nile, Writing; State and Society, Material Culture, Beliefs and Thinking) and the Gallery of Royal Mummies. Cultural events and festivals will be organized in galleries for temporary exhibitions, and the museum will also serve as an education and research centre.
The Museum is located in El Fustat, founded as the first capital of Islamic Egypt by the Arab Conqueror Amr Ibn Al-Aass in 640 A.D. Now in the heart of Cairo, on the road to the pyramids, El Fustat is home to important monuments and archaeological sites, including the Citadel of Salahedin, the Hanging Church, the Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aass, and the Ben-Ezra synagogue.
UNESCO has provided technical support in developing the NMEC project, one in a series of joint endeavours led by the Government of Egypt and UNESCO for the preservation of the country’s extraordinary cultural heritage. UNESCO has also helped train NMEC staff and carry out the archaeological survey of the site of El Fustat.
In 1978 the government of Egypt expressed the wish to create the NMEC and the Nubia Museum in Aswan. UNESCO launched the international campaign for the establishment both museums in 1982. The Nubia museum was opened in 1997 and the foundation stone for NMEC was laid in 2002. UNESCO first engaged in the safeguard of Egypt’s cultural heritage when it launched the International Campaign for the Salvage of the Nubian Monuments in 1960.
A press kit on the NMEC is available on request.