Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany inaugurated this afternoon the Malawi Museum in Al-Minya governorate in the presence of Essam Bedawi, Al-Minya governor, and a number of foreign ambassadors and heads of foreign archaeological institutes.
During the opening ceremony El-Enany asserted that after three years of restoration work, Malawi Museum is back on Egypt's tourist map and its re-opening today is a step highlighting the challenge that the government has faced in its battle against terrorism, as well as the ministry's efforts to preserve and protect Egypt's cultural and archaeological heritage.
"It is a clear message to the whole world that Egypt will not bow to terrorism and those who are trying to destroy its archaeological heritage and civilisation," El-Enany said.
The minister promised attendees that "another story of the ministry's fight against terrorism is awaiting in Cairo, as the Museum of Islamic Art is to be inaugurated very soon."
Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the ministry, explained that restoration work started in 2013 after the final report of an archaeological committee assigned to determine the damage that had occurred to the museum.
The Malawi Museum was looted in August 2013 during clashes between supporters of deposed former president Mohamed Morsi and security forces after the latter broke up sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares in Cairo.
Some 1,049 of the museum’s 1,089 artefacts were reported missing while artifacts that were too heavy for vandals to carry away were damaged in situ.
The majority of artifacts were recovered, handed in by Malawi residents or left at the museum’s gates after the ministry declared an amnesty on the return of any looted artifacts.
Salah added that the two-storey museum building has been overhauled and its indoor decoration and design renewed.
The new design concept of the museum provides a broader educational service to visitors. It informs Egyptian visitors about how their ancestors built a great civilisation, showing Al-Minya residents' daily lives in ancient times, their industries, handicrafts and culture.
Waadallah Abul-Ezz, head of the projects sector at the ministry, said restoration had cost around LE10 million, financied by the ministry, Al-Minya governorate and the Italian government within the framework of an Italy-Egypt debt exchange programme.
The building, he said, had been completely renovated, with new indoor exhibition halls. A new lighting and security system has been installed and all damaged showcases replaced with new ones.