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'La Description de L’Egypte' to be restored

The Ministry of State for Antiquities is restoring its copy of La Description de L’Egypte, the first comprehensive study of ancient and modern Egypt, first published in 1809

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 19 Apr 2012
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After decades hidden on the shelves of the library of the Antiquities Documentation Centre, a genuine copy of La Description de L’Egypte is now being restored.

Today the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) transported the volume to the state-of-the-art labs of the planned Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) where it will be meticulously cleaned.

MSA Minister Mohamed Ibrahim explained that the book has been damaged by insects and that some of its pages are tainted.

Hussein Abdel Bassir, GEM supervisor, told Ahram Online that restorers are now examining the book and its hardcover in order to select the best method of clean and preserving it and the contents therein. He added that the restoration will take at least a year, as the book is in very bad condition.

The first edition of La Description de L’Egypte was a published in 1809, offering a comprehensive scientific description of ancient and modern Egypt as well as its natural history. It was the collaborative work of about 160 scholars and scientists who accompanied Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798 to 1801.

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