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Due to the COVID-19 situation, the GnT Tours Egypt Experience is currently only taking provisional bookings for a tour later in 2021

A weekly round up of the Ancient Egypt News stories that made the headlines

Ancient Egypt News 19 – 25 April 2021

Welcome to the latest Ancient Egypt stories that made the headlines over the fourth week of April 

After transferring the 22 royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to their permanent resting place in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, a group of new artifacts has been placed in Tahrir Museum.

In the place of the transferred mummies, a total of 50 colored coffins are now being displayed, including two from last year’s Saqqara discovery, The others were either displayed on the third floor of the museum or were stored in the basement. 

15 of those coffins are being displayed for the first time. The coffins are part of a 2016 grant project that includes documenting, photographing and restoring 626 coffins. 

A month after receiving and placing the fourth shrine of King Tutankhamun in its display case in the hall dedicated to the Boy King’s treasures in the Grand Egyptian Museum, the museum received the third shrine of Toutankhamun. 

The Shrine arrived from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, in preparation for its display in the new museum. Major General Atef Moftah, General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the surrounding area, explained that the transfer was carried out amid tight security measures by the Tourism and Antiquities Police, under the supervision of the restorer and various museum curators.

Dr. Al-Tayeb Abbas, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Archaeological Affairs at the Grand Egyptian Museum, said that this shrine will undergo restoration work inside the museum. He added that It is made of gilded wood, and was discovered among the treasures of the king in his tomb on Luxor’s West Bank in November 1922. He explained that it was then transferred with the rest of the artifacts to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, where they were displayed.

Dr. Tayeb Abbas added that the remaining shrines will be transferred successively, to be displayed according to the set display scenario in the halls dedicated to the king's treasure. He said that the halls have an area of ​​over 7000 7200 square meters and are equipped with state of the art display facilities, including the environmental control of temperature, humidity, and lighting.

Professor Moamen Othman, head of the museums sector, confirmed that the transfer of the shrine was carried out according to accurate scientific practises and standards. The shrine was dismantled into 10 parts using the same manufacturing technique that the ancient Egyptian used, then each part was individually wrapped inside an inner box and another external one using acid free materials.He pointed out that the team from the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Tahrir Museum will assemble the shrine again within the next few days inside the display area allocated to it in the halls of the young king's treasures.For his part, 

Dr. Issa Zidan, Director General of Executive Affairs for Restoration and Transfer of Antiquities at the Grand Egyptian Museum, said that before the transfer, the shrine was examined and a detailed report was made documenting its preservation status, while the restorers team carried out scientific and archaeological documentation using the latest types of photographic and video cameras. IR imaging, as well as XRF scanning and X Ray Radiography were done to identify the locations of the metal and wood tongues and the docking points of the shrine. He said that this helps the working team to accurately develop a plan to dismantle the shrine safely and scientifically.

Ms. Sabah Abdel Razek, Director General of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, explained that the length of the third shrine is 3.40 m, the width is 1.92 m, and the height is 2.15 m. It weighs about 1142 kg. The walls end at the top with a frieze. It has a double door closed with a royal seal.The shrine consists of a ceiling decorated with a winged sun disk and eight birds with the titles of the king placed under it, and on the inside there are inscriptions on the ceiling. In addition to that the shrine contains a door with inscriptions and texts from the Book of the Dead and is decorated on the inside. And at the top of the door is a winged sun disk surrounded on the right and left side by a group of signs.The shrine also includes sides decorated with inscriptions from the Book of the AmDuat, and the back contains engraved scenes from the Book of the Dead. 

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, headed by Dr. Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, was held at the museum’s headquarters in Fustat.

The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities began the meeting by thanking the National Bank of Egypt for the support provided to Egyptian antiquities, as the bank is the first entity in Egypt to care for Egyptian antiquities.

The sponsorship of the celebration that the Ministry held at the NMEC to celebrate World Heritage Day, and the completion of placing the royal mummies inside the two display rooms of the mummies hall is the second integrated sponsorship from the bank,  as it has previously sponsored projects to develop services within Archaeological sites, such as the temples of Karnak in Luxor, and Abu Simbel and Philae in Aswan, in addition to a number of other patronages such as the sponsorship of a number of archaeological discoveries.

During the meeting, it was agreed to operate a system for tour guides to use headphone systems in order to maintain a level of calm inside the museum and stop guides having to shout to be heard, in a similar way to what is already instigated in major museums of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, provided that the price of the headset ticket is 30 pounds, in addition to agreeing not to allow explanations inside the Mummies halls, either with or without headphones.

It was also agreed to allow a free pass to visit the museum for eligible groups only during the weekdays from Sunday to Thursday during the official working hours, excluding weekends and public holidays.It was also agreed to allow the museum entry ticket to be valid for a period of 3 months from the date of its purchase, provided that it is used only once. 

Supervisor of the Main Hall and the Royal Mummies Hall in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization Sayed Abul-Fadl said that all royal mummies were placed inside their showcases that include devices for measuring temperature and humidity, and that there is continuous follow-up to monitor the status of the mummies.   

Abul-Fadl clarified that maintenance work is carried out on a daily basis on all mummies inside the hall to ensure their safety and preservation, pointing out that each mummy was placed in a suitable environment, as per modern scientific methods.  

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities had announced that visitors had flocked significantly to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat to visit the Royal Mummies Hall on the first day of the hall’s opening, which coincided with World Heritage Day on April 18. 

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has completed equipping the Airport Museums in passenger halls 2 and 3. A date for the official inauguration will be set soon.  

The museum exhibition scenario has been implemented in both museums. The airport museums aim to promote cultural tourism in Egypt to attract and encourage tourists, especially transit passengers, to visit archaeological and historical sites and museums.  

The area of Terminal 2 Airport Museum is approximately 150 m. The Terminal 3 museum includes about 70 artifacts, carefully selected by the Supreme Committee for Museum Exposition Scenarios from the stores of a number of museums, including those of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, the Suez Museum and the Greco-Roman Museum, to feature the different eras of the Egyptian civilization, including the ancient Egyptian, Coptic and Islamic times.  

Located in a privileged place, the museums will also include outlets to sell gifts and souvenirs, as well as being one of the most important outlets for selling antique reproductions from the newly established reproduction factory.

Identification cards for all the pieces housed in the Terminal 2 and 3 Airport Museums have already been completed. 

And that is it for this week.    

This weekly round-up is sourced from public sites on the internet and do not necessarily reflect the views of GnT Tours. Please feel free to contact us regarding these and any other stories posted here.