Egypt's monuments and museums back in business

Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 20 Feb 2011

Following three weeks of closure the archaeological sites around Egypt are open to the public again

Since the  25th January revolution all archaeological sites in Egypt have been closed due to security measures.

Today, following three weeks of closure, they are now open to receive visitors. These include all the Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, and modern sites in Cairo, as well as in Lower and Upper Egypt.

According to reports written four hours after the reopening, small groups of between 20 to 50 tourists, including some Egyptians, visited the Giza plateau, Saqqara and Luxor.   

Ali El-Asfar head of the Giza plateau monuments said that in the last week the number of tourists who came to the plateau was about 800 people a day and that today a group of young people organised a peaceful protest at the plateau, in support of the return of international tourism to Egypt.

In Luxor Mansour Borak supervisor of antiquities, pointed out that at noon today 93 tourists had visited the Karnak temples and on Wednesday there are scheduled visits for two British groups of 200 people. He stressed that all archaeological sites in Luxor are now open and ready to welcome visitors.

Mohamed Abdel Fatah the head of the museum department at the ministry said that six museums are open,  and others will be reopened later after further discussions about security measures.

The newly-reopened museums are the Egyptian, Islamic and Coptic museums in Cairo; Luxor and the mummification museums in Luxor and the Nubia museum in Aswan.

Tarek El-Awadi director general of the Egyptian museum said that the first group of tourists to visit the museum since it re-opened were from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Japan.

There were 15 tourists who visited the Citadel.

Zahi Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs stated that the Antiquities and Tourism police, as well as guards from the ministry of state, have returned back to their permanent positions, and will continue to tighten security measures and safeguard the archaeological sites in every Egyptian governorate.



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