CAIRO – 5 July 2020: Life is gradually returning to sites affiliated with the Egyptian Antiquities Sector, and the museums affiliated with the Ministry of Antiquities’ Museums Sector, but what about the sites affiliated with the Islamic Antiquities Sector?
Osama Talaat, head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish Antiquities Sector at the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, stated in press statements that the reopening of the archaeological sites was based on a decision by the Antiquities Administration Council, which in turn applies the decisions of the Cabinet, in light of the implications of the novel coronavirus.
Talaat further stated that in light of Egypt’s Cabinet decisions, the Antiquities Administration Board met to determine the sites and museums that will be reopened. Based on the available data, an attempt was made to survey the existing sites and museums, while committing to the precautionary measures necessary to battle the virus, including social distancing, wearing face-masks and sterilizing the sites.
Furthermore, Talaat pointed out that the sites affiliated to the sector that were reopened included Salah El-Din Citadel, one of the most important archaeological and tourist attractions in Cairo, which contains numerous monumental buildings dating back to different historical periods, such as Al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun Mosque, Be’r Yusuf, Sulayman Pasha al-Khadem Mosque, Mohammed Ali Mosque, Mint, the National Archives of Egypt, National Military Museum, Al-Gawhara Palace and El-Azab Mosque.
In addition, Talaat clarified that the Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria is reopened, with a limited number of visitors as to not cause crowding inside the castle and maintain social distancing. The Baron Palace was also reopened following the completion of its development and restoration project.
Talaat stated that that all the sites affiliated with the sector are ready to reopen as cleansing and sterilization are carried out periodically, but the reopening will come based on the decisions of the Council of Ministers.