CAIRO -15 August 2017: In August 2013 following the dispersal of Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins, pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters stormed the Malawi Museum, leaving it almost completely looted. But after three years of renovation Malawi National Museum managed to survive again to become even better than before.
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A total of 1090 artifacts were stolen, and about 48 other pieces were destroyed as they were too heavy for vandals to carry.
Strong clashes took place at that time between the Brotherhood supporters and security forces after the latter broke up the sit-ins in Rabaa and Nahda squares.
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The stolen objects include coins, jewels and statues dating from the beginning of the Egyptian history to the Islamic period.
A total of 175 defendants were sentenced to life prison and ten others were acquitted of committing violence and storming the museum. Archaeologist Sameh Ahmed Abdel Hafiz was killed during the attack on the museum in 2013.
The police have successfully recovered nearly 950 out of 1089 objects recorded in the inventory of the Malawi National Museum. Malawi residents cooperated with the security forces to recover most of the stolen objects. Over three years, the museum was restored with a cost of LE 11 million ($620,070) to re-open again in September 22, 2016.
Now, the museum contains more than 1000 objects, 503 of which are new pieces that were added after renovations.
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Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany inaugurated the museum along with Essam al-Bedawy Minya’s governor, in addition to a number of foreign ambassadors and heads of foreign archaeological institutes.
Anany declared during the opening ceremony that the Malawi Museum restoration and re-opening is a step towards winning the battle against terrorism, in addition to highlighting how Egypt is continuously exerting efforts to preserve archaeological heritage.
Malawi National Museum was founded in June, 1962 in Malawi village in Minya governorate, Upper Egypt, in the era of the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The museum contains an important collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. It houses a lot of pieces from nearby sites like Tuna al-Gebel and Hermopolis. The displayed objects in the museum include animal mummies and statues.
The museum building was completely rectified with new indoor exhibition halls. The museum contains three display halls, and a fourth hall dedicated to educational activities for children, in addition to the renovations executed to its indoor decoration and design.
The new design was tailor made in a special way to give the visitors more information about how ancient Egyptians built this great civilisation, highlighting the daily life of ancient Malawi residents like their industries, handicrafts and culture. Malawi National Museum after renovation has new security and lighting systems, in addition to replacing all the destroyed showcases with new ones.