The under-construction National Museum of Egyptian Civilization- Egypt Today/Fatma Khaled
CAIRO - 18 May 2017: The world celebrates International Museum Day that is held annually on 18 May in aims to raise awareness on the importance of museums’ roles in developing societies.
The International Museum Day is organized by the International Council of Museums and it is expected to last a day, week, or month depending on the number of countries involved. Approximately 300,000 museums organized activities on this day in 120 countries.
In retrospect of the celebration, Egypt Today has toured one of Egypt’s milestones in the newly built National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC.)
NMEC is a cooperative project between Egyptian government and UNESCO that was implemented in 2004 and opened its first temporarily exhibition hall last February.
UNESCO’s role in the project is to provide consultancy, expertise, and build museum objectives with multi-disciplinary professionals, archeologists, architects, designers, educators, environmentalists, and administrators.
Located in Fustat area over 33 feddans, the museum is expected to receive monuments and operate renovation labs and workshops.
When visitors first visit the site they cannot help but notice the architectural design of the buildings that feature aspects of the Egyptian civilization such as the glass pyramid on top of the main building and the Roman/ Egyptian theater.
Visitors will be able to enjoy edutainment segments through the 3D cinema and theater, purchase souvenirs from gift shops, and relax in the coffee shops, restaurants and cafeterias on site.
NMEC, expected to be finalized in 2019, also feature other amenities such as 42 retail shops, parks that will accommodate 500 cars, and a bus garage accommodating 50 buses.
The museum launched a temporarily exhibition hall that started operating last February, showcasing old Egyptian artifacts during ancient Egypt era and other eras that followed.
The aim behind launching a temporarily exhibition hall was to attract further investments in the museum, where it managed to attract 800 million EGP assigned from the Egyptian government.
As visitors walk through the main building, they will find a total of nine halls that will operate when by the project is concluded; however with only 10 EGP, price per ticket, visitors are granted entrance and sightseeing to the temporarily hall however, an additional 50 EGP ticket is required for taking photographs.
The nine exhibition halls will feature galleries showcasing the medieval era, the archaic era, Pharanoic era, Greco-Roman period, Coptic period, Islamic period, modern period, and contemporary period.
As visitors further tour, they will find six featured topics that depict Egyptian civilization from early ages including ‘The Nile’ which tracks down the use of the Nile River through Egyptian history in agriculture, fishing, and transport and how the Nile transformed through the years.
The second topic feature ‘The Dawn of Civilization’ where visitors can identify detailed aspects of transformation of Egyptian civilization that tackles aspects such as education, formation of regions, and stability.
The third topic ‘Writing and Science’ feature the latest archaeological discoveries that prove that the oldest forms of writing was reached by Egyptians from over 300 years ago. The fourth topic titled ‘Material Culture’ showcases sculpture and photography, jewelry, decorations, and musical instruments formed through the years.
‘State and Society’ is the fifth topic visitors will encounter following the completion of the museum halls, that tracks down the state ruling system starting from the oldest state in Egypt.
The final featured topic titled ‘Benefits and Beliefs’ highlights Egyptian beliefs and formation of religion and confirms that Egyptians were never slaves of statues according to NMEC’s official website.
The exhibitions’ area marks the heart of the museum as visitors will not only enjoy the variety of topics offered, but also witness the empires of the oldest kings and queens through various platforms.
Antiquities amateurs and tourists from all over the global and locally will enjoy the new ideas presented by the museum as NMEC marks the first civilization museum in the Middle East.