Egypt celebrates World Heritage Day with exhibitions and workshops across the country

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 18 Apr 2024

Under the theme "Disaster and Conflict Resilient Heritage - Preparedness, Response, and Recovery," countries worldwide commemorate the International Day for Monuments and Sites (IDMS), commonly known as World Heritage Day.



World Heritage Day was first proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in 1982 and later adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 1983.

Since then, the 18 of April has served as a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving and promoting nations’ shared heritage for future generations. One of the primary objectives of World Heritage Day is to raise awareness about the cultural significance of historical sites, monuments, and landmarks.

In addition, Heritage Day encourages local communities and individuals worldwide to consider the importance of cultural heritage to their lives, identities, and communities and promote awareness of its diversity, vulnerability, and the efforts required to protect and conserve it.

Moamen Othman, Head of the Museum Sectors at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the overarching goal of celebrating World Heritage Day is to invigorate museums' societal and educational functions so that they do not merely serve as showcases for archaeological artefacts but as vital cultural and educational hubs. 

Othman added that these endeavours aim “to enhance archaeological and touristic consciousness across all segments of society, regardless of age or background.”

This year Egypt celebrates the day by organising temporary archaeological and ethnical exhibitions and art and educational workshops at antiquities museums countrywide.

National Police Museum

To begin with, the National Police Museum at the Citadel organises an exhibition entitled "Landmarks of the Citadel," showcasing the most important archaeological landmarks in Historic Cairo and the Citadel of Saladin, including walls, gates, towers, palaces, mosques, and museums. The exhibition continues for 30 days.

The Gayer-Anderson Museum

The Gayer-Anderson Museum in Sayeda Zeinab and the Royal Carriages Museum in Bulak organise two exhibitions for 30 days under the title "Antiques."

These museums, in collaboration with the General Administration for Archiving at the Museum Sector, showcase a collection of ancient ethnographic items, including gramophones, radios, telephones, hand irons, projectors, and telegraphs. They will also conduct art and educational workshops for children.

Luxor and Greco-Roman Museums

Luxor Museum organizes an exhibition entitled "Treasures of Thebes," showcasing distinguished artefacts from the museum’s treasured collection, including jars, parts of coffin lids with complex drawings, ushabtis, pottery, a statue of a woman, two funerary masks, a metal eye, and a mould.

In addition, the museum organizes tours and an art workshop to teach drawing on papyrus.

On the other hand, the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria organizes an exhibition in the Coptic art hall featuring a collection of its archaeological treasures, including a marble slab depicting Saint Abu Mena standing between two camels, a Coptic textile depicting dancers and mythical figures, and a flask depicting Saint Mena.

Mallawi Museum

The Mallawi Museum in Minya organizes an exhibition titled "Traditional Crafts," which showcases distinguished artefacts highlighting the most prominent traditional crafts inherited by Egyptians throughout the ages.

These artefacts include bead necklaces of various shapes and colours from the Middle Kingdom, bead necklaces with different shapes with a wooden cross, a spindle made of seven pieces of different shapes and sizes, a circular piece of fabric embroidered with yellow, red, and black, threads representing a person riding a horse surrounded by angels, and a piece of cloth in purple with grape leaf motifs executed in the reduction technique from the Coptic period.

Moreover, the museum will organize an art workshop for jewellery making and decorative items to highlight the most prominent traditional crafts and link them to the museum's treasured collection.

Sharm El-Sheikh and Coptic museums

The Sharm El-Sheikh Museum exhibits a collection of icons from the Monastery of Saint Catherine, and the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo organizes an exhibition titled "Coptic Handicrafts - Coptic Textiles," which sheds light on the craft of Coptic weaving.

These textiles include a piece of Coptic linen and wool fabric with various decorations and colours, a piece of linen with wool decorations featuring a cross, a piece of linen and wool with colourful decorations depicting a standing man with missing parts, a square-shaped piece with decorations of crosses inside circles, a piece of coloured fabric, and a weaving spindle.

Imhotep and Aswan museums

The Imhotep Museum in Saqqara organizes an exhibition titled "The Museum: Heritage and Identity." The museum organizes a cultural event and a guided tour for visitors to highlight the archaeological collection of intangible heritage in Saqqara.

Similarly, the Aswan Museum organizes a guided tour of the landmarks of Nubia from Abu Simbel to Philae, including an explanation of the site's significance as one of the most important world heritage sites, and a drawing workshop.


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