Thursday May 21, 2020
Egypt celebrates International Museum Day with exclusive tour at Gayer-Anderson Museum
By: Angy Essam
Mon, May. 18, 2020
CAIRO – 18 May 2020: Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will organise an exclusive tour at the historic Gayer-Anderson Museum (Beit Al-Kriteleyh) in celebration of the International Museum Day held annually on May 18.
The theme for International Museum Day 2020 is "Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion".
According to the International Council of Museums' official website, the aim of this year's theme is to celebrate the diversity of viewpoints and overcome bias.
Egypt presents to the world 26 museums that are available to visit, out of a total of 34 museums nationwide.
Museums are an important component of Egypt's soft power, as they are considered educational, cultural and entertainment institutions.
Gayer Anderson is one of the hidden treasures in the historical part of Cairo, and is located near Ahmed ibn Tulun Mosque.
The story of the museum started with two historical houses that were connected together with a bridge; the first building was constructed in 1632 and belonged to Hajj Mohamed Salem Galmam al-Gazzar. The date the house was built was recorded on a wood frieze.
Later on, the building was bought by a lady from Crete that is why it was later known as Beit Al-Kriteleyh.
The second house was built by Mohamed Abdel-Qader al-Haddad in 1540. It is currently known as Beit Amna bint Salim because she was the last resident of the house.
In 1930 – 1935, the two houses were about to be demolished as part of a project to upgrade Ahmed ibn Tulun area, but the Committee for the Conservation of Arab Monuments objected to this project, and then the process of repairing both houses began.
In 1953, a British doctor, Gayer Anderson, asked to live in the house and provide it with a unique and rare collection of monuments.
He also provided the house with electricity, and plumbing. He managed to restore the beauty of the house, as he added a number of English and Chinese antiquities, Indian chairs, English tables, Iranian handcrafts and Italian lamps.
A pharaoh's casket and a statue of Nefertiti were also displayed in the museum.The museum consists of a number of apartments, including Mohamed Ali Room, the Roof Garden, the Persian Room, and the reading and writing rooms.
What is interesting about the museum is that the houses were built on the Gabel Yeshkur which is known for magical legends.
It is thought that Gabel Yeshkur is the place where Noah's Ark rested after the flood.
One of the common stories heard about it is that if one gazes at the water he/she sees the face of his/her love.
Gayer Andreson museum is characterized by the amazing Islamic design in addition to its special location in the heart of ancient Islamic Cairo.
International Museum Day is coordinated every year by the International Council of Museums.
The annual event highlights a specific theme which changes every year to reflect the basis of the international museum community's preoccupations.
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