Endowments ministry to exhibit its treasured collection at Al-Manial Palace

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 27 Dec 2016

Rare manuscripts, documents and antique copies of the Quran from the ministry's collection will go on display for the first time

The treasured collection of Egypt's ministry of endowments is to go on display at Al-Manial Palace in Cairo, with many historic documents and religious texts on show to the public for the first time. 

Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa conducted an inspection tour of the various palace halls ahead of the exhibition, which is a collaboration between the ministries of antiquities and endowments.

Gomaa said the exhibition will include priceless endowment documents and rare versions of the holy Quran never before put on show.

Also to be displayed at the palace — which was built for Prince Mohamed Ali — are photographs of two Qurans that belonged to the Prophet Mohamed's companions Ali Ibn Abi Taleb and Osman Ben Afan. The texts themselves are being exhibited at Al-Sayeda Zeinab library.

Another Quran going on display is more than 900 years old. Gomaa said that text includes a summary of the number of times each letter of the alphabet appears in the Quran.

A document outlining the regulation of endowments will also be on display, said Gomaa. "It asserts that the endowment is not a sum of money without an owner. On the contrary, no one could sell or buy it," he said. 

He went on to explain that the exhibition will also display a collection of maps showing endowments all over the world. The most distinguished document is an atlas dating back to 1918, which shows all endowments in Egypt, with information on their location and surface area.

Gomaa said the choice of Al-Manial Palace as a venue for the exhibition was "perfect", because its architecture, interior design and decorations suit very well the topic of the exhibition. 

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany asserted that the halls dedicated to the exhibition are now ready to recieve the objects for display.

While no start date for the exhibition has been confirmed, the organizers say it will be opening soon.

El-Enany also called on the ministry of endowments to organize further activities at archaeological sites in order to highlight them and encourage tourism. 

Elham Salah, head of the museums department, and Aalaa Al-Din, head of Al-Manial Palace, escorted both ministers during the tour. 

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