The new Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs (MSAA) production unit has just fabricated its first batch of replicas. The batch includes 130 replica statues depicting the unique collection of King Tutankhamun. The replicas are to be produced for tourists and hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh, which bought them from the MSAA for LE2.3million to be paid within 18 months.
Zahi Hawass, minister of state of the MSAA, stated that the newly created production unit is an implementation of the new antiquities law and its amendments, such as article number 36 of the law, which establishes the intellectual property rights and trade mark of the MSAA production of replicas. According to the law, the MSAA is the only foundation with permission to produce exact replicas on a 1:1 scale.
Amr El-Tibi, the executive director of this unit at the MSAA said that 40 skilled artists and painters are working in this unit in order to carve, paint and produce the replicas.
El-Tibi explains that this first round of replicas will help increase the MSAA budget for selling more of its goods in the local market or exporting them abroad.