Cairo Coptic Museum - Wikimedia
CAIRO – 8 January 2018: In the Heart of Old Cairo, there is an old historic building that houses many priceless artifacts reflecting the real Egyptian heritage of Coptic Christians, Roman Catholics and a number of protestant sects. This building is called the Coptic Museum.
Closer Look at Cairo Coptic Museum
The Coptic Museum, founded in 1908, story-tells Christian history in Egypt through its elaborate woodcarving galleries and many other treasures, including some 1,200 pieces on display, illustrating history from the Ptolemaic period.
The old, original wing of the museum is a fine piece of architecture, consisting of a series of large rooms, with ancient decorated wooden ceilings and beautiful mashrabiyas. Its walls are overlaid with fine slabs of marble, arches and tiles.
Part of a Woven Piece inside Coptic museum
Visiting the Coptic Museum will broaden your view and enlighten you about the Coptic period in Egypt. The entrance of the museum holds 2nd to 5th century funerary stelae from Kom Abu Billou. The stelae illustrate how the Pharaonic art influenced the Coptic art, as they feature crosses shaped like the Pharaonic ankh, key of life, as well as Christian crosses.
Its entrance also includes sculptures dating back to the 4th and 5th centuries. These sculptures further mark the influence of Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman arts, where Christian symbolism was influenced by Graeco-Roman mythology, as well as older Pharaonic subjects.
A few steps into the museum, you see a wonderful work, dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries, of three mice begging a cat to leave them in peace. This mesmerizing piece of art leaves viewers in a state of trance, where they start to imagine a life full of talking mice and cats. The work depicts animals behaving like humans, an Egyptian artistic style that dates back to 1500 BC.
Up the stairs are two large rooms with exquisite 4th to 7th century Coptic textiles and Nag' Hamady manuscripts. The large rooms also hold the oldest book of Psalms in the world, with two original wooden covers.
Two Pieces of wooven inside coptic museum
In 1908, Marcus Samika Pasha founded the Coptic Museum on behalf of the Coptic Church to be the first exhibition of Coptic art. He located it in a unique position in old Coptic Cairo, within the walls of the great Fortress of Babylon and surrounded by Cairo's oldest churches. The place is perfect for the museum and its artifacts.
The largest collection of Coptic Christian artifacts, with some 16,000 pieces, belongs to Cairo Coptic Museum. It is an eye-opener for many, as it documents the important and significant journey of Coptic Christians in Egypt.
The museum gives all visitors a look into the essential role that Copts have traditionally played in the Egyptian society, as well as their importance in the development of Christianity and Christian Monasticism.