CAIRO – 21 January 2021: The Coptic Museum is one of the most important museums in Egypt. It is located in Masr el-Qadima district, and contains a large collection of important archaeological holdings.
“One of the most important features of the old wing of the Coptic Museum is the ceilings,” said archaeologist Samah Asham, curator of the Coptic Museum.
It contains a group of very distinctive ceilings, divided into three parts. The middle ceiling dates back to the Ottoman era and depicts a large collection of beautiful drawings, as well as scenes from the daily life that were recorded by the Egyptians.
In 1902, Morqos Soumika Pasha was able to obtain the approval of Pope Kyrollos V to allocate a plot of endowment land to build a museum in Masr el-Qadima next to the hanging church.
In 1908, Morqos Soumika Pasha completed the collection of art pieces for display, as well as assembled the wooden ceilings of the ancient gems, which are in themselves a masterpiece.
The official opening of the museum took place in 1910 in a huge celebration that increased interest in the Coptic civilization and collected a number of donations from all prominent Egyptian personalities.
In 1931, ownership of the museum was transferred from the church to the Egyptian government, specifically to the Egyptian Ministry of Education. As a result, a greater number of artifacts were transferred from the Egyptian Museum to the Coptic Museum.
In 1947, during the reign of King Farouk I, the new wing of the museum, which was designed by artist Ragheb Ayyad, was opened.
The area and the museum were restored and reopened to the public in 1984. The museum was then closed again to develop the display systems in 2000, to be reopened to the public after the development and re-preparation of the museum exhibition scenario in 2006.
The Committee for the Preservation of Arab Antiquities first recommended the establishment of a Coptic antiquities museum in 1898. All the donations and the collection of rare Coptic artifacts were initiated with the blessing and effort of Pope Kyrollos V.
The idea began with allocating halls inside the Hanging Church, to which Coptic holdings were transferred from the Bulaq Museum.