Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla has said he will donate his personal collection of Description De L'Egypte paintings to the Egyptian Scientific Institute.
Abla, who collected the paintings from various parts of the world, explained that his donation was intended to give younger generations a glimpse of their history they rarely see. Although the Family Library Project, managed through the General Egyptian Book Organisation, has published a cheap version of the entire collection, there is little awareness of the value of the book and its contents inside Egypt.
The Egyptian Scientific Institute, which was razed during protests against the ruling military junta in December, housed twenty-two printed volumes of the book, originally written during Napoleon’s 1789 campaign in Egypt. Eight volumes of the collection were found intact amid the rubble, but the rest are still unaccounted for. Further copies of the book were found at other Egyptian libraries, including Chicago House Library in Luxor and Cairo University.