'Egypt's Sunken Treasures' exhibit to tour Europe in September
CAIRO: A set of 293 ancient Egyptian artifacts, estimated to have spent 2,000 years underwater, will tour several European capitals in September, Antiquities Ministry said in a statement Monday.
Dubbed as "Egypt's Sunken Treasures," the exhibit will start the tour with Paris on Sept. 7. The exhibit will then travel to Zurich, Berlin followed by the British Museum in London before the artifacts are returned to Cairo," director of the Antiquities Ministry's underwater archaeology department Mohamed Mostafa told The Cairo Post Tuesday.
Expected to attract over 3 million visitors, the exhibit will feature finds from underwater excavations conducted by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (EIUA) since 1992 in Alexandria and Aboukir Bay, Mostafa said.
According to an agreement signed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and EIUA founder Franck Goddio, the EIAU will pay the SCA 600,000 euro ($720,000), with an extra euro per visitor when the number of visitors exceeds 100,000.
"The exhibition includes 293 artifacts that have been carefully selected from different museums across Egypt; 18 artifacts from the Egyptian museum, 22 from the collection of Alexandria's Greco-Roman Museum, 31 from the Alexandria National Museum, 15 from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Museum and 207 artifacts from the collection of the Department for Underwater Antiquities," former head of the ministry's museums sector Ahmed Sharaf told The Cairo Post.
Among the artifacts on display are several colossal statues in pink granite, well-preserved statues of the Egyptian goddess Isis, Nile-God Hapi and a very well preserved sphinx, said Sharaf.
The collection will also feature ceramics, jewelry, coins, and items from everyday life and firearms that belonged to the naval fleet of Napoleon's mission to Egypt (1798-1801).
"The exhibit aims to promote Egypt's inbound tourism, enhance the cultural relations between Egypt and the E.U. countries and increase the revenues of the Antiquities Ministry in order to fund suspended archaeological projects," said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty in a statement Monday.