Thursday, October 15, 2015

70 k visitors to ‘Osiris, Egypt’s Sunken Mysteries’ exhibit in a month: official | Cairo Post

70 k visitors to 'Osiris, Egypt's Sunken Mysteries' exhibit in a month: official

The face of Osiris statue, Saite period, 26 dynasty, reign of Amasis (570-526 BC), is displayed at the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute), as part of the Osiris, Sunken Mysteries of Egypt exhibition in Paris, France, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. As the cultural world decries the destruction of ancient sites in Syria, Paris' Arab World Institute defiantly celebrates the preservation of ancient culture by holding a never-before-seen exhibit of the remains of the ancient Egyptian city of Heracleion. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

CAIRO: Over 70,000 people have visited "Osiris, Egypt's Sunken Mysteries" exhibit since it was inaugurated early September at the Arab World Institute in Paris, according to Youm7.

"Comprising 293 carefully selected artifacts excavated in the ruins of ancient Alexandria's legendary cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, the exhibit is expected to attract up to 400,000 visitors," Chairman of the Central Administration of the Sunken Artifacts Mohammad Mostafa was quoted by Youm7.

The exhibit, which covers nearly 1,100 square meters at the Arab World Institute in Paris, will end Jan. 31 before it tours other European cities including Berlin and London.

The exhibit also features 40 objects, some of which have never been in public display before, collected from museums across the country including the Egyptian Museum, Alexandria's Greco-Roman and National museums along with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Museum, Mostafa said, adding that all the artifacts illustrate the legend of God Osiris; ancient Egypt's afterlife deity.

The exhibit is expected to increase number of French and European travelers to Egypt, Mostafa said, adding that it will provide funds to carry out stalled archaeological projects.

Revenues from tourism, comprising 11.3 percent of Egypt's gross domestic product (GDP), witnessed a sharp decline in the aftermath of the political instability following the 2011 uprising.

"The Ministry of Antiquities has been encountering financial problems with its total debt, which rose to 2.8 billion EGP due to the sharp decrease in its revenues," said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty in a statement in June.