Egyptian Museum in Bulaq, the 1st official authority to protect antiquities



Mon, 19 Oct 2020 - 02:51 GMT


Mon, 19 Oct 2020 - 02:51 GMT

Part of the artifacts housed in the Antiquities Museum in Bulaq - ET

Part of the artifacts housed in the Antiquities Museum in Bulaq - ET

CAIRO – 19 October 2020: The Egyptian Museum’s official page on Twitter has published pictures of a number of ancient Egyptian artifacts that have been on display for more than 160 years in the Antiquities Museum in Bulaq, which is the first official authority to protect antiquities.


It is known that the Egyptian antiquities were subject to looting, smuggling and destruction until Khedive Abbas Helmy I issued orders to the directorates to impose strict controls on foreigners and Egyptians who were stealing, hiding and selling antiquities.


Auguste Mariette, who discovered the entrance to Saqqara's Serapeum and made excavations in the cemetery of the calf Apis for nearly 3 years, sought to convince the Egyptian officials to establish an Egyptian Antiquities Service and an Egyptian Museum.


On June 19, 1858, Khedive Said approved the establishment of the Egyptian Antiquities Authority, and appointed him as the commissioner of antiquities' work and excavations.


Mariette began to launch intensive archaeological research programs, and established a storehouse of antiquities on the banks of the Nile in Bulaq, which was transformed on February 5, 1859 into a museum upon the discovery of the treasure of Queen Ahhotep I in the Draa Abu al-Naga area in Thebes.


One of the most important discovered pieces was the sarcophagus that was filled with some magnificent jewels, jewelry and weapons. This instigated Khedive Said to establish a museum for Egyptian antiquities in Bulaq.


It was built during the reign of Khedive Ismail and was opened for visits for the first time in 1863. In its inception, the museum was a huge building overlooking the Nile and was called The House of Antiquities or Antikhana. 


Unfortunately, the Nile flooded the halls of the museum in 1878 to the point that a group of exhibits of scientific and artistic value were lost.



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