UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Tuesday evening, to tour the newly restored and re-opened facility.
Accompanied by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Bokova extended her 45-minute planned tour to 90 minutes to see the work which went into restoring the museum, which was badly damaged by a car bomb explosion in 2014 that targetted the adjacent Cairo Governorate Police Security Directorate.
El-Enany said that Bokova’s visit to Egypt and the MIA serves as a message to the world that it's time to visit Egypt, which he said has stood firm in the fight against terrorism.
“The reopening of MIA embodies Egypt’s success in opposing terrorism and violence,” the minister said.
Bokova described the restoration work as “great” and said it "succeeded in returning the MIA to its original allure."
“The work also shows dedicated international cooperation to rescue one of Egypt’s distinguished monuments,” Bokova added.
UNESCO, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Switzerland as well as other international museums, institutes and NGOs contributed to the museum's restoration.
“The MIA is an emblem of Islam and its contributions to history, culture, science, art and medicine,” Bokova said.
Bokova gifted the MIA library with a series of seven books about the history of Islam and its historical contributions. The series, published in English, was compiled by UNESCO over the last 40 years.
Bokova and El-Enany are set to open Wednesday evening the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).
Bokova in the MIA
Bokova offering El-Enany the books series