Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly reopened the museum on Wednesday, accompanied by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa, the Minister of Local Development Hisham Amna, the Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilani, and the Governor of Alexandria Mohamed El-Sherif.
Madbouly described the museum as a new tourist attraction in Alexandria and an addition to Egyptian tourism that aligns with the government’s plan to revive archaeological sites and museums.
For his part, Issa said the museum restoration aims to reinforce the message of enlightenment of one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean basin and attract more visitors.
He added that the museum includes 10,000 artefacts. The restorers, Issa said, preserved the museum’s classic Roman facade, thus reflecting its identity.
Mostafa Waziry, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the restoration takes on added importance given the diversity of artefacts displayed in the museum's exhibition halls.
Waziry added that the museum covers the history of ancient Egypt, especially Alexandria.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the restoration process involved adding new sections to the museum to attract more visitors and highlight the intellectual and artistic amalgam of ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Byzantine civilizations.
Waziry also explained that in renovating the museum, the restorers emphasized the idea of Alexandria as a city that had once been a beacon of knowledge and the sciences that attracted scholars and philosophers from all parts of the ancient world.
He further stressed that the museum showcases relics representing Byzantine and Coptic arts and architecture and others representing Egyptian craftsmanship and commerce.
Moamen Othman, head of the museums sector, explained that in 2005, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) closed the museum for restoration and rehabilitation.
Due to lack of funds and the 2011 revolution, the project was postponed until 2018, Othman said.
Both the museum and its library were consolidated and restored, while the showcases were improved to ensure a better display of the artefacts, he said.
Following restoration, a new exhibition scenario was created to display the objects chronologically and thematically, and new lighting and security systems were also installed, Othman added.
In addition, he noted that the museum's restoration works were carried out in collaboration with the Egyptian Armed Forces Engineering Authority, including restoring the building itself, replacing showcases, installing new lighting, ventilation and security systems, and renewing the overall display layout.
The museum has 30 galleries displaying artefacts from the Greaco-Roman period. It also has a state-of-the-art conservation and research centre and a hall for multimedia.
The Graeco-Roman Museum, built in 1892, was inaugurated by Khedive Abbas Helmy II in 1895 to display Greaco-Roman artefacts discovered at archaeological sites in Alexandria.
It was registered on Egypt’s heritage list for Islamic, Coptic, and Jewish antiquities in 1983.