The Hurghada Museum was officially inaugurated by PM Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Enany on Saturday.
This is Egypt's first museum to be established in partnership with the private sector. "It's a leading experience in Egypt to link maritime and cultural tourism,” El-Enany said, asserting that the ministry is to copy the experience in Sharm El-Sheikh museum, set to open in April.
He added that the government didn’t shoulder any financial burdens in the construction of the Hurghada Museum which cost EGP 185 million and that were provided by the partnering company.
The company provided all the requirements the ministry requested such as the showcases, the security and lighting systems, and the design of the museum’s hall.
Revenues from the museum will be equally divided between the ministry and the company.
Hisham Samir, advisor to the minister of antiquities on civil engineering, said the ministry’s requirements to secure the building were being implemented through installing a state-of-the-art security system equipped with surveillance cameras and alarms.
Private investors had provided the building according to ministry requirements and offered to put on show the artefacts to transform the building into an archaeological museum, Samir said.
“The Ministry of Antiquities will be the sole authority responsible for the management and security of the Hurghada Museum collection, as well as anything related to antiquities, such as exhibition halls, and the maintenance and restoration labs,” El-Enany said, explaining that private investors will be responsible for facilities and services.
The decision of the ministry to operate the new museum in partnership with the private sector was taken with the aim of promoting tourism in Hurghada, given the lack of public financial resources for the establishment of the project. Many archaeological projects were put on hold in Egypt after 25 January 2011 due to high costs and incomplete construction work.
Samir said the museum was a one-storey building designed according to the highest international standards, covering 3,000 sq m to exhibit a collection of 1,791 artefacts brought from various storehouses in the Red Sea area and beyond.
“Under the title ‘Beauty and Luxury’, the museum will have displays showing the beauty and luxury of the ancient Egyptian civilisation through its different dynasties,” Mahmoud Mabrouk, advisor to the minister of antiquities on exhibitions, said.
The museum displays artefacts that embody the comfort of the house and furniture and cosmetics used by the ancient Egyptians such as hair accessories, wigs, creams, perfumes and jewellery.
Sports, such as hunting and fishing, as well as musical instruments and scenes from dance and musical performances from the Pharaonic era to modern times are on show. A model showing how perfume was made and how ancient Egyptians decorated their tombs are exhibited.