With the opening of a new museum in Hurghada, Egypt's Red Sea resort town – already a prime destination for beach goers, scuba divers, and vacationers around the world – is now on the map as a cultural tourist attraction.
Egypt's Prime Minister announced the opening of the Hurghada Museum on Saturday, February 29, and the new complex is expected to contribute in boosting the tourism sector, allowing foreign visitors in Hurghada the chance to explore Egypt's ancient and modern history without having to make a separate trip to Cairo or Luxor.
The museum was constructed on 10,000 square meters in the heart of the city, and showcases relics from different eras of Egyptian history, such as the Islamic, Coptic, and royal periods, through an extensive collection of artifacts, sculptures and portraits.
The museum houses an area fully dedicated to ancient Egypt, which includes upwards of 1,791 artifacts and intriguing details about the lives of ancient Egyptians.
"We are offering them a time capsule of history," Anani said.
The museum also boasts a first-of-its-kind exhibition hall entitled "The After Life's Showcase," which allows tourists to learn more about the ancient Egyptian pharaohs' fascinating beliefs about the after life.
In a related context, the upper part of the statue of Queen Merritt Amon, recovered from her temple in Ramesseum, has also been transferred from The Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square to the new museum in Hurghada.
Another exhibition room in Hurghada's museum is devoted to the monuments of the Red Sea area, which includes Al-Hammamat Valley, the Roman city monuments in Safaga, the Roman city in Gouna, and Wady Gasus, southern Sinai, and more.
Under the title 'Beauty and Luxury', the museum will also showcase an exhibition dedicated to the beauty routines and luxurious habits of the ancient Egyptian civilization throughout its different dynasties, according to Mahmoud Mabrouk, adviser to the minister of antiquities on exhibitions.
The museum's collection features pieces related to sport, music, daily life, and more, housing as well various artifacts from the ancient Egyptian royalty and priests, such as jewelry, perfumes, and furniture. displays remarkable examples from diverse areas, including sports, music, hunting and more.
Items dating back Mohamed Ali and the royal family are also displayed at the new museum.
A shopping complex with several bazaars offering souvenirs and replicas is located nearby, in addition to a food court next to the museum.
Significantly, the Hurghada Museum also represents the first time the government and private sector have joined forces on a heritage project.
The partnering company oversaw construction of the museum, which included renovating the building and adding a security and lighting system, with total costs of LE 185 million.
The ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will be the only managing authority of the museum, while revenues will be equally divided between the two partners.
The government's decision to collaborate with private investors came as part of efforts to boost tourism and overcome the financial challenges inherent to these kinds of wide-scale projects, according to the Minister.
The Egyptian government, along with private sector investors, were motivated to launch the project due to concerns that tourists on charter flights to resorts along the Red Sea often miss the opportunity to visit Egypt's museums or historical sites.
Meanwhile, Momen Othman, Head of the museums sector at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, said during a telephone interview on the Sabah al-Khir YaMasr (Good Morning Egypt) program that the same idea is behind the much-awaited Sharm el-Sheikh Museum.
Tickets to the Hurghada Museum for foreign visitors cost LE 200, reduced to LE 100 for foreign students. Tickets for Egyptians cost LE 80 and will be reduced by half for Egyptian students as well.
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