New project to showcase Egypt's ancient military history

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 6 Apr 2016

A panorama and museum relating Egypt’s military history is to be established within 12 months in Al-Qantara East, near Suez

El-Enany with the army forces listening to Abdel Maqsoud's explanation of the project (Courtesy of Adel Al-Sayed)

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany gave the go-ahead for a major project to retell the country's military history from the ancient Egyptian era to the present day through the opening of several historical sites to tourists as well as the setting up of new museum displays.

The project involves the restoration of the ancient Horus Military Road in Sinai, which hosts the sites of ancient fortresses and military structures, El-Enany said.

The project includes the opening of seven sites that will be refurbished to make them tourist-friendly, three of which are in Qantara East and four in Qantara West.

“This is a new tourist site with very distinguished monuments that relate to Egypt’s military history through different time periods,” El-Enany told Ahram Online, adding that the development of the Horus Road as a tourist attraction had now gained momentum.

The project also involves the establishment of a panorama and a museum displaying Egypt’s military history, he explained, saying the panorama is to be built in collaboration with Egypt’s Armed Forces in the area between the old Suez Canal and its newly dug extension.

El-Enany said that work on the project – to be completed in 12 months – will start following a meeting with Armed Forces officials on Thursday to agree on the final plan.

Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, coordinator of archaeological sites around the New Suez Canal, told Ahram Online that a site management component was included in the development project, which aims to provide visitors with information panels and other facilities, along with a high-tech security and lighting system.

A visitor centre, bookstore, souvenir shop and cafeteria are to be built.

Two buildings displaying a panorama of ancient Egyptian fortresses, similar to the October War Panorama in Nasr City in Cairo, is also planned.

El-Enany hopes that the panorama building will be similar to the newly inaugurated Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM) in Marseille, France, with both MuCEM and the panorama buildings overlooking the sea.

MuCEM is a cube on 15,000 square metres, built of stone and surrounded by a latticework shell of reinforced concrete.

“This kind of edifice is good because it gives an opportunity to vessels crossing the Suez Canal to admire the collection on display in the panorama at night, which encourages tourism,” El-Enany said.

The MUCEM building in Marseilles at night

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