Reconstruction of shrine to regional Old Kingdom ruler Winnie set to enhance Sohag National Museum

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 9 Jan 2023

In an attempt to enhance the Sohag National Museum in Upper Egypt, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is in the process of reconstructing a shrine to the Old Kingdom regional ruler Winnie, which is set to become the museum’s newest attractions once complete.



Moamen Othman, head of the museums sector at the SCA explained that the work is being carried out in collaboration with an American archaeological mission from the University of Michigan at the Abydos site in the Sohag governorate.

Work on the shrine is now almost 70 percent complete, Othman added, without providing an expected date that the project will be completed.

The shrine was a part of Winnie’s tomb uncovered in the middle necropolis of Abydos in 1860. Some parts of it were transferred to the Egyptian museum in Tahrir, Saqqara galleries and then to the Sohag museum’s storehouses.

Winnie was a regional ruler who held power during the reign of Pharaoh Pepi I during the 24th or 23rd Century BC.

The shrine itself is carved in limestone painted with scenes depicting Winnie in different positions with deities and during his prayer at Abydos. The shrine also features two false doors and two small obelisks

Construction on the Sohag museum first began in 1993, but work ground to a halt several times due to disagreements over technical issues, interior design and exhibits. A lack of funding after the 25 January 2011 Revolution exacerbated the situation. In 2016, work resumed and the museum was finally inaugurated by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in 2018.

The museum is built to resemble a two-story Ancient Egyptian temple overlooking the Nile with a dock for ferries and exquisite landscaping dotted with water channels and fountains. Five colossi of the lion goddess Sekhmet stand before the museum’s entrance to welcome visitors.

The aim of the museum is not only to reflect the unique history of the governorate from pre-history to modern times, but also to highlight Egyptian identity through the changes that have taken place in Upper Egypt.

The museum's exhibits focus on six influential aspects of Egyptian life throughout the ages: kingship, the family, cooking and cuisine, faith and religion, employment, industry and textiles and handicrafts.

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