Egypt opened its rare fossils museum, The Fossils and Climate Change Museum, to allow visitors to go back in time to an ancient era, when using nature’s resources was the only way to survive.
As the first of its kind, not only in Egypt but also in Middle East, the museum displays some of the earliest species of currently extinct whales and other animal fossils and skeletons. The museum is located at Wadi Hetan (Valley of the Whales) in Fayoum, 170 km south-west Cairo.
The museum unveils relics of wild rare animals that originally lived in the area, which was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2005. Its centrepiece is the intact skeleton of a 37m year old whale.
It also features a “unique collection” of fossils, including the largest intact Basilosaurus isis whale fossil, according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The museum aims to attract more tourists in an attempt to revive the tourism industry, especially after the Russian plane crash in October and other terrorist attacks that led to the collapse of the tourism industry in Egypt. Italy has allocated $2.17b to fund the museum.
The museum is dome-shaped and sand coloured to match the surrounding mesmerising nature of the desert. “When you build something somewhere so beautiful and unique, it has to blend in with its surrounding … or it would be a crime against nature,” the museum’s architect, Gabriel Mikhail, told the Associated Press. “We are confident visitors will come.”