Saturday was a historic day for Egypt’s tourism industry, as three important museums inaugurated in one day, according to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani.
The minister’s remarks came during President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s inauguration of the museums, which are the Sharm El-Sheikh Museum, the Kafr El-Sheikh Museum, and the Royal Carriages Museum in Cairo. Combined, the establishment of the new museums cost nearly EGP 1bn.
During his speech, Al-Anani reviewed the state’s efforts in the field of museum sector, development and restoration of archaeological sites, and archaeological missions in Egypt. The minister also presented the working plan for the museums that were inaugurated on Saturday.
Al-Anani said that the Sharm El-Sheikh Museum is the first museum of antiquities in the Red Sea resort.
The idea of establishing the museum, located on an area of 191,000 sqm, dates back to 1999. Work on the project began in 2003, before stopping in 2011 during the 25 January Revolution. Work on the EGP 812m museum then resumed in 2018.
The museum includes three halls for displays, in addition to an entertainment area that includes a number of restaurants, bazaars, traditional crafts shops, an open theatre and squares for celebrations and events.
Kafr El-Sheikh Museum
The minister said that the Kafr El-Sheikh Museum is the first museum of antiquities in the ancient governorate.
The idea of establishing the museum dates back to 1992, after Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate allocated a 6,800 sqm plot of land inside the Sana’a Park. This would be used to establish a national museum documenting cultural heritage, and aims to spread archaeological and cultural awareness of the Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate’s heritage, and for the nearby governorates.
The construction work on the museum began in 2002, but was stopped in 2011, before being completed in 2018. This took place after a cooperation protocol between the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate was signed in 2017, with the total cost of the project reaching EGP 62m.
The museum consists of three main exhibition halls, displaying artefacts from the excavations at the Tell Al-Faraeen archaeological area, in addition to other archaeological areas from Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate.
Royal Carriages Museum
Al-Anani also spoke of the opening of the restoration and development project for the Royal Carriages Museum. It is considered one of the oldest quality museums in the world and one of the most important vehicle museums in the world.
The idea of establishing the museum dates back to the reign of Khedive Ismail in the second half of the 19th Century. During this period, a building was designated for Khedivial chariots and horses in Bulaq, and was initially called the Khedivial Stirrup Department.
During the reign of King Fuad I, the building was renamed the Administration of the Royal Stables. The building was converted into a historical museum after the July 1952 revolution.
In 2002, the museum was closed to commence with an integrated restoration and development project, but the project ground to a halt in 2011. Work resumed again in 2018. The museum, which cost a total of EGP 63m, covers a total area of 6175 sqm, and consists of several halls.
Al-Anani affirmed that work resumed at the three museums following a years-long hiatus since 2011, based on presidential directives. There has been an emphasis on giving utmost importance to all projects for the maintenance, restoration and security of Egyptian antiquities, and the development and establishment of major and regional museums.