Shortly after being sworn into office on Thursday, newly re-appointed Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany described his vision for his upcoming tenure, which will focus on the completion of a number of existing ambitious projects across Egypt.
“My dream is to complete all of the yet unfinished projects, chief among them the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), the Giza Plateau development project, the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor, the Baron Empain palace in Heliopolis, the Jewish Synagogue and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC),” El-Enany told Ahram Online.
El-Enany was first appointed to head Egypt’s antiquities ministry in March 2016 as part of former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s Cabinet, six months after being appointed as the director general of the Egyptian Museum. He was also director of the NMEC at the time.
The minister’s previous tenure was distinguished by several important discoveries in both Upper and Lower Egypt as well as the opening of several museums such those at Tel-Basta and Kiom Ushim.
El-Enany also oversaw the advancement of several development projects, including the inauguration of a temporary exhibition hall in the NMEC and the continued construction work on the GEM, which is now 80 percent complete.
Restoration work at the Greaco-Roman Museum and the Hana Elvie Synagogue in Alexandria, as well as on the the Baron Empain place in Heliopolis are also already underway, as is the restoration and rehabilitation of several Islamic monuments in Rosetta with aims to develop the area into an open-air museum for Islamic art.
The minister also responded to recent criticism of the newly unveiled logo of the GEM, asserting that it is only promotional and not the final design, and that he welcomed all comment and criticism from the syndicates, universities and artists over the matter.
He promised to launch an international art competition among Egyptian and foreign artists to select a final logo for the museum, as well as one for the NMEC and all other museums in Egypt.
El-Enany completed his doctorate in Egyptology in 2001 at Montpellier III University in France. He began his academic career at the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management at Helwan University, where he quickly rose through the ranks.
While at Helwan, El-Enany was director of the Open Learning Centre, head of the Tourism Guidance Department, vice-dean for education and student affairs, in addition to acting as professor of Egyptology.
He is an associate scientific expert and member of the board of administration at the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO) and a visiting professor at Montpellier III University. He has lectured in France and Switzerland, as well as Egypt.