CAIRO - 26 February 2021:Dr. Khaled El Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, inaugurated on February 26, the two projects for the restoration and development of Atripps Temple archeological site in Sheikh Hamad and the Hawawish Necropolis in Akhmim, Sohag.
This comes in line with the Ministry's plans to preserve archaeological sites, open new places for visits and develop and raise the efficiency of tourism services in museums and archaeological sites.
These projects, completed in nearly two years, were carried out in cooperation with Sohag governorate, represented by the Local Development Project for the Development of Upper Egypt.
The two projects are financed by the World Bank.
The opening was attended by Dr. Mostafa Waziry, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Ms. Yomna El Bahar, Assistant Minister for Technical Affairs, and Ms. Iman Zidan, Assistant Minister for Museums and Archaeological Sites Development.
During the inauguration, Dr. Khaled El-Enany referred to the support Sohag is receiving from the Egyptian government, pointing to the inauguration of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in 2018 of the Sohag National Museum, about 29 years after laying its foundation stone.
The Minister talked about some archaeological projects that have been completed in Sohag during the past period, as a number of archaeological sites have been restored and opened, including the project to develop tourism services in the Abydos Temple, the project to reduce the groundwater level in the Osirion Temple, and the restoration of the statue of King Ramses II in the open museum in Akhmim.
He explained that as part of its development projects, the areas of Sheikh Hamad and Al Hawawish Necropolis, surveillance cameras were installed, instruction panels were put in place, a visitor center and a cafeteria were constructed, in addition to a number of bazaars.
The Minister pointed out that the cost of the project for the restoration and development of the Temple of Attrips amounted to EGP 5.50 million, while the cost of the project for the restoration and development of the Al Hawawish cemeteries amounted to EGP 9 million.
Dr. Khaled El-Enany announced that, on the occasion of the inauguration, Egyptians will be allowed free entry to the areas of the Temple of Attrips and the Al-Hawawish Necropolis until the end of March 2021, and the areas will provide guided tours, with an emphasis on adherence to all precautionary measures and health safety controls during the visit.
He said that Sohag has touristic and archaeological potential.
He also mentioned the introductory visit organized by the ministry in 2019 for more than 30 ambassadors from the countries of the world in Cairo to Sohag.
He pointed out that they are very impressed with the unique and varied effects of the projects on the city, especially as it was the first time they have visited the area.
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities affirmed the ministry’s interest in developing all archaeological sites in Sohag, as well as other Egyptian governorates, in a way that contributes to improving the experience of visitors and tourists, preserving Egyptian antiquities and developing tourism and archaeological awareness of its people.
He also went on to say that work will be done during the coming period to encourage Nile cruises between Luxor and Aswan in order to include visiting the governorates of Sohag, Minya, Qena and other governorates of Upper Egypt.
The minister pointed out that, due to the sustainable development policy, the coming period will witness a great leap in the development of tourism services at archaeological sites, explaining that any citizen or tourist needs, during his visit to any archaeological site, information about this site, so a set of panels and banners against sunlight and heat were implemented.
On those panels, the QR code allows visitors, through their smart phones, to copy the code that will convert it on the ministry's page on the Internet and to know all the information they want about the area and the monuments in it.
The minister explained that the ministry aims to popularize the idea of these electronic leaflets instead of the traditional flyers within the digital transformation project and the development of tourism services in all archaeological sites in Egypt.
The minister added that with the ministry's implementation and activation of the digital transformation project for museums and archaeological sites, the ministry is activating the electronic reservation system through developed reservation windows by activating the electronic payment service by cards, electronic wallets and contactless cards, which began to be applied in the museums of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir. In preparation for them to be circulated to the rest of the museums and sites respectively.
Dr. Khaled El Enany talked about the ministry's support to provide all archaeological sites for people of determination within the plan of developing tourism services in these sites, in a way that facilitates their visits to them, pointing out that this issue is scheduled to be completed next June.
Dr. Mostafa Waziry pointed out that the restoration work of the Al Hawawish cemeteries included making stairs for the graves and cleaning and restoring the inscriptions and murals in them, and the path to the rock cemetery was paved with a sandstone staircase suitable for its archaeological nature.
In addition to making a wall around the entire archaeological area, paving the path of the visit, and providing some services, including a service building surrounded by a large wall that contains a parking garage, a cafeteria, a ticket office, a visitor center and an administrative headquarters.
As for the restoration and cleaning works of the Temple of Attrips, it also included the work of hubs for the visit, placing identification panels and a wooden pathway on the visit path, and providing some services, including a service building surrounded by a large wall on the south side, and a parking garage, cafeteria and ticket office, in addition to a number of seats Distributed over the visit path for guests' convenience, and a main canopy suitable for the site with seats and provided with visitor information.
Dr. Waziry explained that during the cleaning work at the archaeological site in the Sheikh Hamad area, the Egyptian-German archaeological mission revealed a large part of the stone-paved procession road leading to the temples area, in addition to finding a cabin on the southern side of the road.
Mrs. Iman Zidan, Assistant Minister for Museums and Archaeological Sites Development, explained that a visitor center was built in Hawaeish, and it was provided with identification panels of the archaeological area and screens to display a short documentary film on the history of the region and the development project in it, as part of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’s plan to develop and raise the efficiency of tourism services in museums and archeological sites to improve the visit experience and the services provided, through the participation of the private sector, companies and national banks as sponsors, out of their belief in their social responsibility and their desire to support development projects through the commercial sponsorship regulation approved by the Board of Directors of the Supreme Council of Antiquities to encourage cooperation with the private sector.
In addition, indicative panels on the course of the visit and the precautionary measures that must be adhered to during the visit were provided with all requirements for prevention of masks, sterile materials and a temperature measuring device, in addition to a map that includes archaeological and tourist attractions in Sohag, and finally a ticket board.
Brochures were also prepared on the areas of Sheikh Hamad and Al Hawawish monuments, equipped with QR codes, which allows each visitor carrying a smart phone to read information about the location in Arabic, English, German, French and Dutch.
In additiont to a number of umbrellas with seats have been installed on the visit path for the convenience of the guests.